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Full text of "Aberdeenshire epitaphs and inscriptions : with historical, biographical, genealogical, and antiquarian notes / by John A. Henderson"

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F.S.A. Scot., 

Author of "The History of Banchory-Devenick," "Annals of Lower Deeside,' 






[250 Copies Printed.] 



*^0R those who take interest in old times and ancient ways of life, 
in the rise and fall of families that exercise, or have exercised, 
influence in their time and generation, a vast amount of valuable 
information is recorded in inscriptions and epitaphs that are rapidly becoming 
illegible and succumbing to the wearing processes of time. To rescue some 
of these decaying memorials from a fast approaching oblivion, and to 
supplement their narratives from manuscripts, chartularies, registers, and 
other reliable sources, has for long been a keen enjoyment and a pleasing 
diversion to the writer of this book. 

By the kindness of the Directors, Editor, and Manager of the "Aberdeen 
Daily Journal " he was permitted to present the result of his gleaning and 
research in a series of articles which appeared week by week in that 
newspaper from January 6, 1904, to October 10, 1906. This gave an 
opportunity, which was very courteously embraced, to many readers to 
communicate additional special information in their possession on matters 
treated of in these weekly instalments. This information has been carefully 
embodied in the present work, and it is confidently hoped that it will prove 
of interest and value. 

It is to be observed that many matters and persons of considerable local 
importance have not been mentioned, either through the exigencies of space 
or because the facts are readily accessible in other publications. 

In dealing with a huge number of persons, dates, and facts, it is 
impossible to avoid at least occasional inaccuracy, but every care has been 
taken to reduce it to a minimum. 

Although many of the events recorded might supply material for romance 
or moral reflection, this exercise has been left to those who are minded to 
engage in it. No attempt has been made at literary embellishment, but what 
is mostly a matter-of-fact recital has been given in the form deemed 
appropriate for it. One object has been kept in view — not to give just 


cause of offence by retailing irrelevant personal matter, or by the manner of 
narrating details that are of personal importance. If this has not been 
successfully accomplished, no one will regret it more than the writer. 

Very many names of localities and persons have undergone great changes 
in spelling at different periods, and, consequently, the attempt has not been 
made to employ a uniform orthography in referring to them. 

For assistance generously given, thanks are gratefully tendered to more 
Ministers, Schoolmasters, Presbytery and Session Clerks than can be 
individually named. Special service was rendered by the following : — Rev. 
John Anderson, curator, Historical Department, H.M. Register House, 
Edinburgh ; Col. The Hon. Robert Boyle, London ; Col. James Allardyce, 
LL.D., of Culquoich ; Col. W. Johnston, C.B., of Newton Dee ; Captain 
Douglas Wimberley, Inverness ; Mr. Robert Anderson, editor, and Mr. James 
A. C. Coutts, manager, " Aberdeen Daily Journal " ; Mr. John Malcolm 
Bulloch, London ; Mr. P. J. Anderson, Aberdeen University librarian ; 
Mr. David Littlejohn, LL.D., sheriff clerk, Aberdeen ; Mr. A. M. Munro, 
city chamberlain, Aberdeen ; Mr. Henry Alexander, editor, " Aberdeen Free 
Press " ; Dr. Cameron, Firhall, Nairn ; Mr. A. J. Mitchell-Gill of Auchinroath ; 
Rev. Stephen Ree, Boharm ; Canon Wilson, Elgin ; Mr. Robert Wilson, Tarty ; 
Mr. John Milne, LL.D., late of King-Edward ; Mr. J. F. George, Aberdeen ; 
Mr. F. C. Eeles, secretary, " Alcuin Club " ; Mr. James A. Wood, solicitor, 
Aberdeen ; Mr. A. G. Donald, Kemnay ; Rev. Dr. Walker, Aberdeen ; Rev. 
James Smith, Aberdeen ; Rev. Andrew Chalmers, Wakefield ; Mr. R. 
Murdoch-Lawrance, Aberdeen ; and Mr. David Scott, librarian, Peterhead. 

Rev. William Lawrence, Banchory-Devenick, kindly read all the proof- 
sheets as they passed through the press, and rendered helpful aid otherwise. 

The book is sent forth in the hope that some of the author's pleasure 
in writing it may be shared by those whom kindred tastes may induce to 

read it. 

J. A. H. 

Avondale, Cults, 
Aberdeen, 1st May, 1907. 




[Church, 117. Ministers, 118. Schoolmasters, 120. Bissets, 120. Original Castle, 121. 
Succeeding Proprietors, 122. Kirktown Graveyard, 123. Village Graveyard, 
125. Charlestown, 127. Old Customs, 127. Antiquities, 128.] 


[Church, 135. Ministers, 136. Schoolmasters, 139. Thanage, 139. Balmedie, 141. 
Blairton, 141. Overblairton and Colpnay or Orrock, 143. Ardo, 145. Menie, 145. 
Muirton or Meadowbank, 147. Pettens, 148. Potterton, 149. General Epitaphs, 
149. Lumsdens of Auchry, etc., 150. Miscellaneous, 153.] 

BETHELNIE ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 48 

[Church and Ministers, 48. Prophet of Bethelnie, 49. Graveyard and General Epitaphs, 


[Quoad Sacra Parish Church, 292. Episcopal Church, 293. United Free Church, 293. 
Churchyard and Epitaphs, 294.] 


[Ministers, 238. General Epitaphs, 240. The Gordons, 242. Schoolmasters, 245. Lands 
and Forest, 245. Historical Events, 246. Antiquities, 247. Miscellaneous, 247.] 


[Notes on Early Churches, 272. Ministers, 273. Tait Family, 276. The Alexanders, 277. 
The Deuchars, 277. General Epitaphs, 278. Pitcaple, 279. Pittodrie, 281. In- 
veramsay, 281. Logie-Durno Churchyard and Epitaphs, 282. Logie Private Ceme- 
tery and Estate, 284.] 


[Crimonmogate, 70. Gordons of Logie, 72. Proprietors of Haddo, 73. Antiquities, 74. 
Ministers and Churches, 74. Cases of Longevity, 75. General Epitaphs, 75. 
Farquhar the millionaire, 77.] 

DUNMEITH (see Walla'-Kirk) 336 


[Old Church, 1. Ministers, 2. Parish Lands, 3. Pitmedden and its Proprietors, 3. 
Churchyard and General Epitaphs, 7. Sculptured Stones, 10.] 

ESSIE 163 

[Parish Church, 163. Gordons of Essie and Lesmoir, 164. Merdrum, 166. Cran Family, 
167. General Epitaphs, 168. Antiquities, 169.] 


[Parish Chapel, 232. Sculptured Stone, 233. Churchyard and Epitaphs, 233. Lairds of 
Fetterangus, 233. Village, 237.] 

FETTERNEAR ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 289 

[Old Church and Ministers, 289. Lands, 290. Churchyard and Epitaphs, 291.] 

viii. CONTENTS. 



[Old Churches, 83. Ministers, 84. Fintray Estate, 86. Disblair, 87. General Epitaphs, 

88. Crombies of Grandholm, 89. Antiquities, 91. Chapel Yard, 91. St. Medan's 
Churchyard, 92.] 


[Church and Incumbents, 517. Cemetery, 520.] 

FORBES ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 183 

[Old Church, 183. Priests and Ministers, 184. An Eccentric Parson, 185. Forbes Lands 
and Family. 187. General Epitaphs, 191. General Notes, 192.] 


[Church, 309. Ministers, 310. Foveran Lands and Barony, 313. Forbeses of Foveran, 
315. Robertsons of Foveran, 316. Tillery, 317, Blairythan and Savoch, 318. 
Kincraig, 319. Newtyle, 320. Blacks, Wateridgeniuir, 322. General Epitaphs, 
323. Antiquities, 325.] 


[College, 250. Wine Tower, 251. Parish Church and Ministers, 252. Ogstons and 
Urquharts, 255. The Gills, 256. Gordon of Kinellar and Frasers of Park, 257. 
The Andersons, 258. Cairnbulg, 259. General Epitaphs, 260.] 

FYVIE ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 484 

[Church, 484. Ministers, 485. Estato and Castle, 488. Gight, 492. Monkshill, 496. 

Rothienorman, 500. Priory, 502. Royal Burgh, 504. Parish Graveyard and 

Epitaphs, 504. Leith Family Inscriptions, 509. Antiquities, 511. Well- Worship, 
513. Miscellaneous, 513.] 

GLASS 329 

[Parish Church, 329. Ministers, 330. United Free Church and Ministers, 332. Bel- 
dorney, 333. Asswanley, 334. Churchyard and Epitaphs, 335.] 


[Parish Church, 461. Ministers, 462. Earls of Mar, 464. The Gordons, 465. Epitaphs, 


[Parish Church and Ministers, 129. Churchyard and Epitaphs, 129. Byron's " Mary," 
130. St. Lesmo's Episcopal Church, 132. Sir William Cunliffe Brooks, Bart., 133. 
Antiquities, 135.] 

KEIG 264 

[Old Church, 264. Ministers, 264. U.F. Church, 267. Professor W. Robertson Smith, 
267. School and Schoolmasters, 268. Epitaphs, 269. Estates, 269. Old Churchyard 
and Epitaphs, 270.] 


[Old Church, 17. Ministers, 18. Estate and its Proprietors, 19. General Epitaphs, 22. 
Village, 25. Antiquities, 25.] 


[Church, 421. Ministers, 422. Barony, 424. Castle, 426. Guthrie Family, 427. 
Craigston, 428. Eden, 431. Balmaud, 434. Montcoft'er, 435. Schoolmasters, 435. 
Epitaphs, 436. Antiquities, 438. New Graveyard, 439.] 


[Church and Ministers, 11. Glasgowego, 12. Auquhorsk, 14. Tertowie, 14. Mr. C. 
Elphinstone-Dalrymple, 15. General Epitaphs, 16. Antiquities, 17.] 




[Church, 193. Ministers, 195. Thanage and Forest, 197. Hallforest, 199. Thainston, 199. 
Lord Shand, 202. Harvey and Farquhar Families, 203. General Epitaphs, 205. 
Royal Burgh, 209. Commissioners to Parliament, 210. Port-Blphinstone, 211. 
Antiquities, 211.] 

LOGIE-DURNO (see Chapel of Garioch) ... ... ... ... ... 272 


[Church and Ministers, 58. Lands, 60. Gordons of Cairness, 61. Abernethys of 
Crimonmogate, 61. Cumines of Kininmonth, 61. Shands of Craigellie, 62. Blair- 
mormond and Knowsie, 63. Episcopal Clergymen, 63. General Epitaphs, 64. 
Miscellaneous, 68. St. Combs, 68.] 


[Church and Ministers, 340. Auchinhove, 342. Findrack, 343. Smiths of Glenmillan, 
344. Rosses of Auchlossan, 345. Churchyard and Epitaphs, 346. Historical Incidents, 
348. Antiquities, 348. Village, 349. U.F. Church and Graveyard,-349.] 

MELDRUM ... 48 

[Church and Ministers, 50. General Epitaphs, 52. St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, 55. 
Urquharts of Meldruro, 55. Parish Lands, 56. Eminent Natives, 57. Oldmeldrum, 
57. Antiquities, 58.] 


[Church and Ministers, 522. Churchyard and Epitaphs, 523.] 


[Church, 294. Ministers, 296. Episcopal Church, 297. Estate and Proprietors, 298. 
Pitfichie, 303. Churchyard and Epitaphs, 304. Schoolmasters, 307. Antiquities, 308.] 


[Village, 326. Churchyard, 326. Udny Family Mausoleum, 327. Wreck of "Oscar," 
327. Epitaphs, 328.] 

NEW BYTH ... ... ... ... ... ... 439 

[Estate, 439. Village, 440. Parish Church, 440. Cemetery, 441.] 


[Church, 401. Ministers, 102. Fedderate, 405. Brucklay and Culsh, 40G. Auchreddie, 
408. Knaven, 409. Nethermuir. 409. Cairnbanno and Auchraunziel, 410. Artam- 
ford, 410. Parish Churchyard and Epitaphs, 410. Antiquities, 417.] 


[Church, 441. Ministers, 442. Monvcabock and Elrick, 445. Kingseat, 447. Mameulah, 
448. Kinmundy, 448. Straloch, 449. Parkhill, 452. Epitaphs, 455. Monycabock 
Graveyard, 459. New Cemetery, 460.] 


[Village, 45. Episcopal Church, 45. Parish Church, 46. Graveyard and Epitaphs, 46.] 

OLD DEER ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 378 

[Church and Ministers, 378. Abbeys, 382. Fergusons of Pitfour, 383. Russells of 
Moncoffer and Aden, 386. Fergusons of Kinmundy, 387. Interments in Old 
Church, 390. General Epitaphs, 393. Schoolmasters, 394. Episcopal Clergymen, 
395. St. Drostane's Episcopal Church, 397. Cemetery, 397.] 

OYNE 105 

[Church, 105. Early Priests, 105. Church and Ministers, 106. Horns of Westhall, 108. 
Harthill, 111. General Epitaphs, 113. Antiquities, 117.] 




[Church and Ministers, 351. Churchyard and Epitaphs, 354. Skeltons, Andersons, and 
Nicolls, 355. Tho Cordiners, 356. Provost Roderick Gray, 357. Moirs of Inver- 
nettie, 360. The Lawrances, 361. The Arbuthnots, 366. Families of Smith, 
Ferguson, Hutchison, and Bruce, 371. Provost William Alexander, 373. General 
Epitaphs, 374. Rev. Gilbert Rorison, LL.D., 376. Cemetery, 377.] 


[Castle, 78. Burgh, 78. Broadland — Rattray Lands, 78. The Frasers, 79. The Cumines, 
80. Chapel, 80. Churchyard and Epitaphs, 82.] 


[Church, 153. Priests, 154. Ministers, 154. Schoolmasters, 157. Gordons of Muirack, 
15S. General Epitaphs, 158. Mackay of Uganda, 161. Congregational Church, 
161. Eminent Natives, 162. Antiquities, 163.] 


[Parish Church, 417. United Free Church, 418. Lands, 419. Churchyard and Epitaphs, 
419. Antiquities, 420.] 



[Old Churches, 213. Ministers, 214. Inverugie, 217. The Earls Marischal, 218. Church- 
yard and Epitaphs, 222. The Arbuthnots, 223. Peter Buchan, 223. Reids of 
Ellishill, 225. Sir Andrew Clark, 226. Schoolmasters, 230. United Free Church, 

STRATHDOVERN (see Cabrach) 237 


[Church and Ministers, 26. The M'Combies, 28. Kincraigie and its Proprietors, 31. 
Tonley and its Lairds, 31. Farquharsons of Whitehouse, 33. General Epitaphs, 35. 
Schoolmasters, 36. Antiquities, 36.] 


[Church, 169. Ministers, 170. Montgarrie and Whitehaugh, 173. Terpersie, 177. 
Schoolmasters, 180. General Epitaphs, 181. Antiquities, 182.] 


[Church, 36. Ministers, 37. Lands, 39. Boyndlie, 40. General Epitaphs, 42. Anti- 
quities, 44.] 

UDNY 93 

[Church, 93. Ministers, 94. Pitmedden, 96. Pittrichie, 98. Tilliecorthie, 99. Marrs 
of Cairnbrogie and Uppcrmill, 100. General Epitaphs, 101. Udny Academy, 104. 
Antiquities, 105.] 


[Graveyard and Epitaphs, 337. Geddes Family, 338.] 


[All Saints' Church, 513. Incumbents, 513.] 


[Aboyne, 525. Glenbuchat, 526.] 



Sculptured Stones at Dyce 

... facing page 1 

Tonley House 


Melprum House 


Castle Forbes 


Ixyerugie Castle ... 


Monymusk House ... 


Pitfour House 


Glenbucket Castle 


Fyyie Castle 



Arms at Crimond Graveyard 

Rattray Chapel 

Arrangement of Inscription on Tombstone at Tullynessle ... 

Sculptured .Stone at Fetterangus ... 

Arrangement of Inscription on Tombstone at Peterhead ... 

Church Tablet to Rev. Dr. William R. Bruce, New Machar 

page 70 


Sculptured Stones at Dyce. 

Epitaphs and Inscriptions 





^t^HE church of Dyce was dedicated to 
1^/ St Fergus, Bishop and Confessor, whose 
feast was observed upon 18th Novem- 
ber. In ancient records it is called the 
Chapel of St Fergus, near Moss Foetacb. 
(Statis. Acct.) In the beginning of the 
thirteenth century it belonged to the 
Knights Templars, and thereafter formed 
one of the churches which depended upon 
Kinkell. In 1649 it was disjoined from 
Kinkell and declared an independent parish 
church. (Acts Parlt.) In 1663 it was 
annexed to the Deanery of St Andrews 
(Ibid.), and in 1G96 the vacant stipend was 
.assigned to St Leonard's College. The 
parish was supplied by Thomas Myll, reader, 
in 1567, and by Eobert Wood, reader, from 
1574, the salary being xvi. lib. (Eegister 
of Ministers.) 


The roofless church, standing within the 
old parish graveyard on the right bank of 

the Don, where the river takes a wide 
bend, and at a distance of about two miles 
from the village of Dyce, is of special inter- 
est through being one of the few remaining 
Scottish pre-Reformation churches. The 
structure, which is believed to have been 
built in 1544, is comparatively small, and 
has walls of about three feet in thickness. 
Inside the north wall, close to the east end, 
is a fragment of the old Sacrament House, 
consisting of a sill 26 inches long, 6| inches 
thick, and projecting If inches from the 
face of the wall. On its exposed front are 
carved in relief a shield charged with a lion 
rampant, and scrolls bearing the letters 
A G, with the date 1544. These letters — 
(the first is almost illegible) — doubtless 
stand for Rev. Alexander Galloway, rector 
of Kinkell, the superior of the charge of 
Dyce at that date. The structural form of 
the Sacrament House, as also of the church 
itself, had, in all likelihood, been after- 
plans by Galloway, who was no less skilful 
as an architect than eminent as a parson. 
A skew-put stone on the north side of the 


west gable displays a curious representation 
of the head of a sheep or other animal. 

Extensive structural alterations on the 
church have from time to time been made. 
Up to about 1780, the roof was of heath, 
but it was then renewed, and new seating 
introduced. The edifice continued as the 
Parish Church down to 10th March, 1872, 
when a new and larger church, erected 
almost, a mile nearer the village, was 
opened for public worship. The roof of 
the old church, which was much decayed, 
and the seats, doors, and other woodwork 
were removed in 1892. The outer walls 
have since been re-harled, and, if rain is 
not allowed to get down between the 
stones, the ruin may stand for many years. 

The old bell, which is now hung in the 
belfry of the new church, bears the same 
founder's name and date as that of the bell 
in Peterhead graveyard tower, thus : — 

soli deo gloria, 

michael burgerhuys. 

m.f. 1642. 

By the side of the western door stands 
the ancient font, or holy water stone, 
which, unfortunately, has got slightly 


Few of the old ministers appear to have 
died in the parish. At least five were 
transferred to other charges, Rev. Patrick 
Seton, M.A., to Auchterless, 1682; Rev. 
Thomas Ragg, M.A., to Belhelvie, 1745; 
Rev. Alexander Temple, M.A., to New- 
hills, 1769 ; Rev. James Hay, to Elgin, 
1779 ; Rev. William Robinson Pirie, to the 
Professorship of Divinity in Marischal Col- 
lege, 1843. The last-named afterwards 
became Principal of the University of Aber- 

A flat stone, showing various emblems, 
including an eagle and two roses, bears a 
very indistinct Latin inscription, from 

which we make out that it had been erected 
to the memory of Jean Livingstone, spouse 
of Rev. Gilbert Ramsay, M.A., who died 
16th March, 1708 Ramsay, who was a son 
of Robert Ramsay, merchant, was Ross 
bursar in 1673, and was elected one of the 
masters of Aberdeen Grammar School in 
1679 ("Scottish Notes and Queries," Vol. 
XI., p. 39), and in 1682 appointed minister 
of Dyce. He was deposed in June, 1716, 
for praying for the Pretender during 
the rebellion, and died 31st May, 1728. 
(Scott's Fasti.) 
A tablestone bears the inscription — 

To the memory of The Rev. William Wilson, 
late Pastor of this Parish, who died on the 18th 
day of February, 1821, in the 68th year of Hs 
age, and the 42d of his ministry. 

Mr Wilson, who was a graduate of Maris- 
chal College, was ordained minister of Dyce 
on 19th April, 1790, and died, unmarried, 
as above. 

In the newer portion of the graveyard is 
a handsome monument, bearing the sacred 
monogram I.H.S., and the inscription — 

In memory of Revd. John Syme Kemp, 
M.A., Minister of Dyce, who died on the 18th 
February, 1892, in the 85th year of his age and 
the 48th year of his ministry. 

" I shall be satisfied when I awake with Thy 

There has also been fixed in the Parish 
Church a tablet to the memory of Mi- 

The present incumbent is Rev. James 
Taylor Cox, B.D., son of Henry William 
Cox, Gamrie. He graduated in Arts at 
Aberdeen University in 1886, and was 
ordained to the charge two years later. A 
tombstone in the graveyard is inscribed — 

Gladys, daughter of Rev. J. T. Cox, B.D., 
Minister of this Parish. Born July 4, 1899. 
Accidentally drowned May 4, 1901. 

"A liU.le child shall lead them 




The parish of Dyce originally formed part 
of the extensive thanage of Kintore, and 
embraced Cordyce, which was one of the 
seven Royal forests in Aberdeenshire. On 
25th October, 1316, King Robert the Bruce 
granted this forest to Sir James " of Garu- 
yach," knight, to be held for the fifth part 
of a knight's service in the king's host, 
and the Scottish service used and wont. 
(Reg. Epis. Aberd. I., 43.) The grant was 
made in return for the faithful service 
rendered by the knight to his king and 
country. It was through this grant, and 
by subsequent marriage, that the Johnston 
family became connected with the parish, 
as after stated. 

The various properties have passed 
through many hands. About 1655, Craig 
belonged to William Shand, merchant bur- 
gess of Aberdeen. A descendant (possibly 
a son), Thomas Shand, late Treasurer of the 
city of Aberdeen, in 1672-78 registered 
arms — azure, a boar's head, couped argent, 
on a chief of the second 3 mullets, gules. 
[Stodart's Arms, II., 262.] He was a mer- 
chant in Aberdeen, and married Anna 
Duncan, and they had a son, William 
Shand, who was infeft in the lands of 
Craig and others in 1687. 

Kirkhill for some time belonged to the 
Burnetts, but the line failed in an heiress, 
Margaret Burnett, who, marrying Alex- 
ander Bannerman, merchant in Aberdeen, 
carried the property to that family. The 
eldest son of the marriage — Dr Alexander 
Bannerman of Kirkhill — was Professor of 
Medicine in King's College, and ultimately 
succeeded to the Bannerman baronetcy. 
(See Crimond and Lonmay.) 

In 1628, Gilbert Skene, burgess of Aber- 
deen, of the family of Skene of that 
Ilk, married Marjory Buchan, daughter of 
William Buchan of Auchmacoy. On 8th 
December, 1628, he was infeft in half of 

the barony of Dyce, and also in Kirktown 
of Dyce, which at an earlier period had 
belonged to the Leslies of Wardes. The 
line of Skene failed in Andrew Skene of 
Dyce, who died on 2nd January, 1815, at 
the age of 84. Under a deed of entail, 
General Gordon-Cuming of Pitlurg suc- 
ceeded, and thereupon assumed the addi- 
tional surname of Skene. In early life 
he married Luckeu, youngest daughter of 
Sir Hew Crawford Pollok of Jordanhill 
and Pollok Castle, Renfrewshire. Their 
eldest son William, in 1825, married Anne, 
youngest daughter of Alexander Brebner 
of Learney. Besides two daughters, they 
had two sons — John, who succeeded, and 
Alexander Gordon, captain, Royal Artil- 
lery, " who was killed while on duty in 
the Gordon Battery, before Sehastopol, on 
the 5th July, 1855, aged 26." (See New 


The lands of Pitmedden were acquired 
from the Leslies by Dr Duncan Liddell, of 
Aberdeen. On 12th July, 1612, he 
mortified the estate, with the fishings in 
the Don pertaining thereto, in favour of 
the colleges of NeAV and Old Aberdeen for 
bursaries. (Deed of Mortif.) On a knoll 
in a field upon the estate, and to the south- 
oast of Pitmedden Railway Station, a 
four-sided monument has been erected. 
It is inscribed in Latin, which may be 

On the north side — 

The Senatus of Aberdeen caused this monu- 
ment to be ejected A.D. 1637. to the imperish- 
able memory of Mr Duncan Liddell, M.D., 
citizen of Aberdeen. 

On the south side — 

In the year 1614 Mr Duncan Liddell, Doctor 
of Medicine, with the authority of the King and 
the Estates of the Realm, mortified the hou3e 
and the lands of Pitmedden for behoof of six 
students in Arts in the University of Aberdeen. 

A 2 


On the west side the arms of Bon-Accord 
arc shewn, while on the east Dr Liddell's 
arms arc exhibited, flanked by the initials 
" D.D.L.," and bearing a motto which may 
be translated, ''So let your light shine." 

On 17th May, 1614, Mr Liddell's brother 
John was served heir. 


Dr James Forbes, physician in Aber- 
deen, son of Rev. William Forbes, of 
Tarves, was also for some time proprietor 
of Pitmedden. He died on 19th July, 
1774, aged 73 years. He was twice mar- 
ried-first to Helen, daughter of James 
Forbes of Thornton, and, secondly, to 
Euphemia, daughter of John Row of 
Bondeth. By the latter marriage there 
were three sons and one daughter — 
William of Echt and Springhill ; John of 
Bodnod, North Wales, captain, 40th Regi- 
ment; James, of New York; and 
Euphemia, who married George Strachan 
Keith of Auquhorsk. 

In a railed-in enclosure, near the east 
door of the church, are a table and nn 
upright stone inscribed respectively — 


Sacred to the memory of Alexander Innes, 
Esq., of Pitmedden, who died at Pitmedden on 
the 22nd of July. 1829, aged 73 years. And of 
three of his daughters by Christian Susan 
Forbes, his spouse, daughter of George Forbes 
of Boyndlie— Elizabeth, died 17th July, 1813, 
aged 9 years; Isabella, died 11th August, 1816. 
aged 15 years; Mary, died 3rd June, 1820, aged 
14 years. And of the above-mentioned Chris- 
tian Susan Forbes, who died on the 11th March, 
1834, aged 63 years. 

Also the remains of Elizabeth, sister of Alex- 
ander Innes, who died 6th June, 1838, in her 
76th year. 


Erected by his widow and children in memory 
of William Shand, late of Arnhall, who died 26 
February. 1845, aged 69, and is interred hero. 

Here lies also Christina, his wife, daughter 

of Alexander Innes of Pitmedden, who died 
30th March, 1855, aged 54. 

Alexander Innes of Pitmedden was the 
second son of James Innes of Maisely, and 
of his wife Isobel Abernethy of Mayen. 
Susan Innes, daughter of the said Alex- 
ander Innes, manned her cousin, John 
Ramsay of Barra and Straloch. 

Arnhall is a property in Fettercairn 
district. It, along with The Burn, was 
purchased in 1818 for £70,000 by John 
Shand (son of John Shand, merchant and 
shipowner, Garmouth), who, in early man- 
hood, had emigrated to Demerara, and 
acquired a competency. At his death 
both properties passed to his brother, 
William Shand, whose son, Alexander 
Innes Shand, is the well-known contributor 
to "Blackwood." Mr William Shand's 
affairs having become involved, the credi- 
tors sold the estates to Colonel M'Inroy. 
At one time they belonged to Lord Adam 
Gordon, uncle of the Duke of Gordon, and 
afterwards to Alexander Brodie, younger 
brother of James Brodie of Brodie, and 
father of Elizabeth, wife of the last Duke 
of Gordon. He amassed a fortune in 
India, and died on 15th January, 1818, 
aged 69. 


Thomas Elmsley of Pitmedden died on 14th 
October, 1830, aged 52. His wife, Elizabeth 
Simpson, died 18th May, 1857, aged 82. Their 
youngest son, James, died 20th August, 1846, 
aged 25. The third son, Thomas, died 10th 
September, 1849, aged 32; and the second son, 
John, died 18th October, 1866, aged 63. 
Elizabeth Riddel, wife of the last-named, died 
14th October, 1901, aged 87. (Tombstone, St 
Nicholas, Aberdeen.) 

From the Elmsleys, Pitmedden and the 
adjoining lands of Guildhall passed to 
John Humphrey, J. P., whose son, Rev. 
William Humphrey, S.J., was admitted 
advocate in Aberdeen in 1860, ordained 


a clergyman of the Scottish Episcopal 
Church iu 1864, received into the Roman 
Catholic Church in 1868, and entered the 
Society of Jesus in 1874. 

A more recent proprietor of Pitmedden 
is commemorated by a double monument 
erected in the United Free Church grave- 
yard of Dyce. It bears the inscriptions — 

In memory of George Thompson, junior of 
Pitmedden and Rainnieshill, Lord Provost of 
Aberdeen from 1847 to 1850. Member of Parlia- 
ment for the city of Aberdeen from 1852 to 
1857. Born at Woolwich, 23rd June. 1804 ; died 
at Aberdeen, 11th April, 1895. And of his 
wife, Christiana Little, youngest daughter of 
the late Professor James Kidd, D.D. Born 
at Aberdeen, 12th September, 1806; died there 
17th January, 1874. And of their children, 
Agnes Elizabeth. Born at Aberdeen, 3rd 
November, 1841 ; died there 28th January, 
1844. And James Kidd. Born at Aberdeen, 
16th January, 1849 ; died at Pitmedden, 17th 
November, 1870. 

Also in memory of Stephen Thompson, of 
Hamilton Terrace, London, eldest son of 
George Thompson, junior. Born at Aberdeen, 
29th June, 1833 ; died at London, 26th July, 

George Thompson, junior, was the son of 
Andrew Thompson, of the H.E.I.C.S. In 
1825 he commenced business in Aberdeen 
as a ship and insurance broker, and was 
the originator of the well-known " Aber- 
deen Line," of which his son-in-law, Sir 
"\\ illiam Henderson, was afterwards the 
head. A portrait of Mr Thompson, by 
Sir George Reid, R.S.A., is hung in the 
Townhouse of Aberdeen. 


A horizontal tombstone in the graveyard 
has the inscription — 

This stone (Repaired, etc., in 1878) was, 
about 1799, placed by William Johnston, Mer- 

chant and Shipowner in Aberdeen, over the 
grave of his father, John Johnston, Farmer in 
Boginjoss, Dyce, thereafter at Cairntradlin, 
Kinellar, who was born, a.d. 1725, at Stand- 
ingstones, Dyce, and died, at Milbowie, 
Skene, a.d. 1770. John's widow, Margaret 
Chalmers, born at Meikletown of Dyce, in 
1730, married in this parish, in 1758, and who 
died at Hilton, Old Machar, in 1812, also rests 
here, with three children, who died un- 
married prior to 1799, named Elizabeth, and 
James, and Alexander Johnston. 

The foresaid William Johnston, for some 
time Dean of Guild of Aberdeen, born at 
Boginjoss, in January, 1762, died at his house 
of View-field, Old Machar, in February, 1832 ; 
he was eldest son of John Johnston and his 
wife, Margaret Chalmers— Their youngest son, 
Andrew Johnston, Burgess and Shipmaster, 
Aberdeen, afterwards in Mains of Balquhain, 
in the Garioch, born at Cairntradlin, in 
October, 1769, departed this life at Coullie, 
Monymusk, in September, 1845. William and 
Andrew Johnston were buried in the Town's 
Churchyard, Aberdeen. Andrew's youngest 
son, David Johnston, who died in February, 
1827, in his 18th year, was interred here. 

On the headstone of the same grave is 
inscribed — 

In memory of Christina Martha, wife of 
Alexander Johnston, W.S., formerly of Edin- 
burgh, and second daughter of John Leith 
Ross, of Arnage and Bourtie. She was born 
at Arnage, in Buchan, 16th March, 1814; 
married at Aberdeen, 1st January, 1836; and 
died at Johnston, near that city, 21st April, 

" The Memory of the Just is blessed." 

Alexander Johnston (son of William of 
Viewfield and his spouse Catharine Morice) 
erected this headstone at the grave of his 
Grand-parents, Mr and Mrs John Johnston, 
where the mortal remains of Alexander's wife, 
above named, were laid. 

The remains of the said Alexander Johnston, 
W.S., who was born at Aberdeen, 4th June, 
1809, and died at Foveran House, 14th June, 
1880, are also interred in this grave. 

Vive ut postea Vivas. 

Alexander Johnston, W.S., who erected 



the above headstone, was a devoted 
genealogist; and, besides preparing a 
large quantity of manuscript matter 
relating to families connected with the 
north-east of Scotland, he printed, for 
private distribution, "A Genealogical 
Account of the Family of Johnston of that 
Ilk, formerly of Caskieben," also "A Short 
Memoir of James Young and Rachael 
Cruickshank and their Descendants." He 
bequeathed money to the Aberdeen School 
Board for the purpose of procuring a 
silver medal, to be designated " The John- 
ston Medal," in memory of his collateral 
ancestor, Dr Arthur Johnston, the cele- 
brated Latin poet, and physician to 
Charles I. 

Stephen de Johnston, ancestor of the 
Johnstons in Aberdeenshire, married, 
before 1380, Margaret, daughter and 
heiress of Sir Andrew de Garvaich, 
or Garioch, of Caskieben, and grand- 
daughter of Helen of Mar. His 
descendant, George Johnston, tenth laird 
of Caskieben, who, in 1625-26, was 
created a baronet of Scotland and 
Nova Scotia, by Charles I., and in 
1630 was elected Sheriff of Aberdeen, in 
succession to the Marquis of Huntly, 
founding upon the marriage above stated, 
disputed the rights to the ancient Earldom 
of Mar, then held by John Erskine, and 
renounced his claims thereto only upon 
favourable terms of compromise. With 
his wife, Stephen de Johnston received, 
during the lifetime of his father-in-law, 
the lands of Johnston (named after him- 
self, but now known as Courtestown, in 
Leslie parish), and also the property of 
Kinbrcoti, Rothienorman ; while, after 
that relative's death, he secured the es- 
tates of Caskieben (now known a.s 
Keith-hall, and the property of the Earl 
of Kintore), Crimond and Cordyce — the 
last-named being in the parish of Dycc. 
His immediate descendants added to the 

patrimonial estates, and his great-grand- 
son, Alexander Johnston, obtained a 
Crown charter, erecting the whole into a 
free barony, to be known by the name of 
" Johnston." For a lengthened period 
the family held possession ; and came to 
be known as " The Gentle Johnstons." 
Ultimately, however, misfortune dogged 
their footsteps, and they had to part with 
portion after portion of their extensive 
estates, including Caskieben, their old 
ancestral home. 

Sir John Johnston, the third baronet, a 
high-spirited and accomplished military 
officer, foolishly aided Captain The Hon. 
James Campbell of Burnbank, brother of 
the 1st Duke of Argyll, in abducting and 
marrying a rich young English heiress, 
Miss Mary Wharton, daughter of Sir 
George Wharton, for which he suffered the 
extreme penalty of the law at Tyburn on 
23rd December, 1690. A ballad of that 
period, entitled " Captain Johnston's Last 
Farewell," professes to give his declaration 
thus — 

I did not hurt nor wrong intend, 

I solemnly protest ; 
But merely for to help a friend, 

I granted his request. 
To free his lady out of thrall, 

His joy and only dear; 
And now my life must pay for all — 

Your laws are most severe. 

He was succeeded by his cousin, John 
Johnston, of New Place, who had a charter 
to the estate of Craig, in Dyce, and trans- 
ferred the old name of Caskieben to the 
western portion of that property, which it 
still retains. He joined the rising of 1715, 
and took part in the battle of Sheriffinuir, 
at which his only son fell while fighting by 
his side. Further financial disasters fol- 
lowed his successors, and, after 1730, the 
last portion of Craig or Caskieben had to 
be sold. 


The next proprietor was George Burnett, 
who died in May, 1763, aged 53. He had 
married Christian Keith, and they had a 
family of at least two sons, Charles and 
Alexander. The latter married Isobel 
Irvine, daughter of Charles Irvine of Cults. 

About 1790, the property was acquired, 
through purchase, by John Henderson, a 
native of the county, who in early life had 
gone to the West Indies and accumulated 
wealth. While in Jamaica he married Miss 
Farquharson, who died in Aberdeen in 
1788 ; and he subsequently married as his 
second wife Miss Helen Leslie. By the 
first marriage he had a son, Alexander 
Farquharson Henderson, who graduated 
M.D. at Edinburgh, and became a physician 
in London. He succeeded as proprietor of 
Caskieben, aud, having independent means, 
devoted much attention to literature and 
horticulture. In 1857 he mortified to 
Marischal College and University £1000 
Bank of England stock for the endowment 
of a chair of Medical Logic and Medical 
Jurisprudence. His valuable collection of 
books, portraits, etc., was bequeathed to 
the College Library and Museum. (Records 
of Marischal College and University, I., 
pp. 529-31-33.) He died on 16th Septem- 
ber, 1863, aged 83, when Caskieben passed 
to his half-brother, Dr William Henderson, 
a son of the second marriage above re- 
corded. In 1839 he was appointed to the 
Chair of Materia Medica in Marischal 
College. After his death his trustees, in 
1880, sold the property to Lewis Miller, 
timber merchant, Crieff, and subsequently 
it was acquired by James Stephen of North 
Kinmundy, who died on 12th January, 
1902, aged 79. His widow, Mrs Elizabeth 
Stephen or Wilson, who died on 23rd March 
following, left estate exceeding £70,000. 
Besides other handsome bequests to public 
institutions, she directed Caskieben to be 
held by her trustees, and the free income 

applied for benevolent and educational 


The parish graveyard is small. It was 
estimated by the late County Engineer to 
have been used for interments for the past 
seven hundred years, but its age is probably 
greater. In 1899, as the result of a move- 
ment initiated by the parish minister — 
Rev. J. T. Cox — it was levelled up and 
improved. Tombstones are neither nume- 
rous nor of ancient date. 

A headstone bears — 

In memory of Elizabeth Davidson, daughter 
to George Davidson and Elizabeth Morice, in 
Foot of Hill, who died the 19th Septr., 1802, 
aged 33 years ; and of Peter Davidson, their 
son, who died the 30th Octr., 1802, aged 19 

On the reverse side — 

In memory of George Davidson, sometime 
Farmer in Foot of Hill, who died 11th July, 
1819, in the 83 year of his age. Also Elizabeth 
Morioe, spouse to the said George Davidson, 
who died in 28th March, 1826, in the 85 year 
of her age. 

The above Elizabeth Morice was a 
daughter of James Morice, farmer in Echt, 
who was brother of Rev. William Morice, 
parish minister of Careston, and uncle of 
David Morice of Tullos, advocate, and for 
some time Sheriff-Substitute of Aberdeen. 

John Davidson, merchant, burgess of 
Aberdeen, who died at North Broadford, 
in December, 1853, aged 76, was a son of 
the above George Davidson and Elizabeth 
Morice. (Johnston's Descendants of James 
Young, pp. 177-79.) 

Upon a tablestone at east end of 
church — 

Here lyes Jannet Forbes, spouse was to 
Alexander Paton of Kinaldie. Here lyes 
Lilies Forbes, daughter was to Iohn Forbes of 
Leslie. 17 52. 



The lands of Kinaldie were for many 
years in the hands of the Leslies of Wardes, 
thereafter passing to the Patons, who were 
of the Grandholni family of that name. In 
1662, Alexander Paton of Kinaldie was one 
of the Commissioners appointed for rectify- 
ing the valuations of Aberdeenshire. (Poll 
Book I., p. IX.) Upon 8th December, 
1686, Alexander Patoune had special ser- 
vice as nearest heir of his father, Alex- 
ander Patoun, " in the town and lands of 
Kinneller. . . . Meikle and Little 
Kinnaldies," etc. (Antiq. III., 241-42.) 
John Paton of Grandholm, who succeeded 
to that property in 1712, married a sister 
of the above Lilies Forbes, as evidenced by 
a Retour in her favour, dated 18th Febru- 
ary, 1744, thus— " Christian Forbes or 
Paton, widow of John Paton of Grand- 
home, to her sister Lilias, daughter of John 
Forbes of Leslie, heir-port ioner general." 

In the following century Kinaldie was for 
a time owned by Mr William Tower, of the 
noted Aberdeen family of that name, 
several of whom were planters and mer- 
chants in Santa Cruz. (See also Kinellar.) 


A railed-in grave at the east end of the 
church has an obelisk, which bears the 
following inscription — 

The burial place of James Rust, Esqr. of 
Auchinclech, Skene, who died 1st June, 1839, 
aged 68 years, and of his wife Margaret Petrie, 
who died 17th Octr., 1819, aged 49 years. 
Erected by their sons, Williamson Rust of 
Auchinclech and James Rust, minister of 

On the right side — 

And of their daughter-in-law, the wife of 
Williamson Rust of Auchinclech, Margaret 
Erskine, who died 7th October, 1848, aged 46 
years ; also the said Williamson Rust, born 
September 17th, 1803, died July 17th, 1884. 

On the left side — 

James Rust, M.A., CM., M.D., born 8 

January, 1836, died 13 January, 1873. 
Williamson, his son, born 30 March, 1868, 
died 18 January, 1873. 

Auchinclech was for long in the posses- 
sion of different members of a family 
named Wilson. Of these, Alexander 
Wilson died 1st June, 1799, aged 82, and 
John Wilson died 8th April, 1820, aged 66. 
The former married Elizabeth Tyrie, one of 
the last descendants of the Tyries of Dunni- 
deer (the representatives of the ancient 
family of Tyrie of Drumkilbo), who died 
10th March, 1814, aged 84. The latter 
married Jean Malcolm, who died 17th 
April, 1836, aged 84. The eldest daughter 
of Mr and Mrs John Wilson— Elizabeth 
Wilson — became the wife of Alexander 
Mitchell of Allathan, and died there on 
8th September, 1845, in the 49th year of 
her age. (Tombstone at Skene, etc.) 

The above James Rust was a merchant 
in Woodside, and left considerable personal 
estate, along with the lands of Auchin- 
clech, which he had acquired by purchase. 
His son, Rev. James Rust, minister of the 
parish of Slains for 34 years, died 5th 
November, 1874, aged 62. He was a 
diligent student of local antiquities, and 
author of i-everal works, including 
" Druidism Exhumed." 

A tablestone at the west end of the 
church is inscribed — 

In memory of Catherine Stephen, spouse of 
George Baxter, farmer in Craigforthie, who 
died 15th December, 1812, aged 53 years. 
Also George Baxter, late farmer in Craig- 
forthie, who died 18th January, 1821, aged 57 

How still in silence now I rest, 
Lie mouldering here in kindred dust, 
Have left the friends I held so dear, 
And dropping down unshed a tear, 
Am now no more. 
A headstone bears — 

William Cooper, M.D., Aberdeen, died 1st 
March, MDCCCXXXVIIL, aged 27. 

The above William Cooper, son of Alex- 


ander Cooper, merchant, Aberdeen, was 
Gray mathematical bursar in 1828, M.A. 
1829, and M.D. on 19th October, 1837, all 
at Marischal College and University. 
(Records of Marischal College, 11., pp. 162 
and 457.) 

A tablestone bears — 

In memory of Katharine Thomson, spouse 
to James Greig, farmer in Cairntradlin, who 
died tho 9th day of November, 1808, in the 
76th year of her age. This stone is placed 
upon her grave by her affectionate husband. 
Also of the said James Greig, afterwards re- 
siding in Aberdeen, who died there the 19th 
day of January, 1831, aged 77 years. Also of 
his only son James Greig by his second spouse, 
Catherine Sim, who died at Aberdeen the 26th 
day of October, 1820, aged 3 years and 4 
months. Also of his daughter, Catherine 
Greig, spouse of George Leask, advocate in 
Aberdeen, who died at Aberdeen 22nd June, 
1834, aged 20 years. Also of the above George 
Leask, late advocate in Aberdeen, who died 
10th March, 1845, aged 44 years. Also the said 
Catherine Sim or Greig, spouse of the said 
James Greig, who died 5th January, 1865, in 
the 77th year of her age. Also of James Gieig 
Leask, brigade surgeon in Her Majesty's army, 
son of the said George Leask and Catherine 
Greig or Leask, who died at London on 16th 
January, 1898, in the 66th year of his age. 

The above George Leask was son of 
William Leask, farmer, Fyvie, and was 
admitted a member of the Society of 
Advocates, Aberdeen, in 1826. 

Two stones are inscribed respectively — 


Here lies the body of George Gill, who lived 
sometime in Farburn. who died 1st Janry 1783, 
aged 67 years. Also the body of Catharine 
Lindsay, his spouse, who died the 9th March, 
1764, aged 44 years. Done by the care of their 


The burial place of John Irvine, merchant, 
Old Aberdeen, many years treasurer of that 
city where he was sincerely loved and esteemed. 
He was born 12th Aug 1755: died 6 Nov 1809. 
Near this spot likewise is interred the ashes of 

his father Robert Irvine, sub-tennant in Rose 
Hall of New Machar, and his mother Elizabeth 
Robb as also his brother James and his oldest 
sister Margaret who both died in Nonage. His 
second sister Ami, wife of John Barclay, Kings 
Seat, lies at Fintray. His youngest sister Eliza- 
beth and her husband William Rae rest here. 

John Irvine was admitted a burgess of 
Old Aberdeen upon 1st October, 1781, and 
in 1796, was living in his own property 
there, evidently as a bachelor, as the 
number of persons in his household was 
returned as one. He was sometimes 
designed seuior, to distinguish him 
from John Irvine, jun., brewer, who 
also took part in the local affairs of the 
Old Town. [Information from Mr A. M. 

A tablestone commemorates an old 
parochial schoolmaster — 

Here lies the body of James Jamieson, late 
school master at Dyce, who died 1st of January 
1788, aged 39 years. 

John Rae, who was teacher for 28 years, 
died 16th July, 1839. 

On a plateau near the railway stands a 
commodious church, with ornamental 
spire, which belongs to the United 
Free Church. A graveyard has been 
formed around, and a good many inter- 
ments have taken place therein. The 
tombstones are all modern. 

The parish contains two villages — viz., 
the old village of Dyce and the more 
modern one of Gordon Place. The latter 
has sprung up around the railway station 
of Dyce, and is rapidly extending. Re- 
garding the parishioners and their char- 
acteristics, the remark which was made 
by the writer of the statistical account sixty 
years ago still applies — They, " in general, 
possess a good degree of sound sense, and 
perhaps even something of that sarcastic 
shrewdness which has sometimes been as- 
cribed to the natives of Aberdeenshire." 

A sixteenth century roll of Sheriff Court 



litigations applicable to this parish records 
an interim judgment which might with 
advantage in many cases be copied at the 
present day, thus — "8 January, 1509. 
Action between William Ronaldson in 
Craig and Thomas Fraser of Stoneywood 
continued for the time under ' houp of 
concourd.' " 


Three sculptured stones, some of which 
were at one time in the churchyard wall, 
were recently, for their better preserva- 
tion, built up withiu the old church, with 
their sculptured fronts exposed to face the 
former pcsition of the eastern door. This 
was done at the instance of the heritors 
of the parish, and the Commissioners of 
ELM. Works, in conformity with the 
Ancient Monuments Protection Act of 
1882. Two- of these stones are finely 
marked, and are now reproduced (they 
face page 1) from tracings specially made 
by Mr George Moir, architect. 

It will be noted that the symbols pro- 
minent in the one case are the elephant 
and double disc, while in the other they 
are the cross (filled with ornamental 
tracery) and other emblems. Alluding to 
these and to other stones around Dyce 
Church, the author of " The Scottish 
Gael," in his MS. notes, says, " . . . it 
is most probable that they had originally 
formed a circle. Those who first taught 
Christianity in this place, would, in de- 
livering their exhortations, resort to a 
place held in veneration by the inhabitants, 
and as it would be found impossible at once 
to abolish old superstitions, a combination 
of Christian with heathen symbols would 
not only be tolerated, but was an excellent 
expedient to lessen the evils of an idolatry 
that could not be subdued ; for he who 
cnme to bow at the ' stone of power ' was 
unwittingly led to prostrate himself to the 

cross of Christ. It is therefore probable 
that a church was established here at a 
very early period." 


Another interesting antiquity is the 
circle of twelve upright stones, standing 
upon a low mound on the side of Tyre- 
bagger Hill, and upon the farm of Stand- 
ingstones, which takes its name from the 
circle. The stones vary in height from 
three to nine feet, and the centre of the 
mound is hollowed out somewhat, like a 
snucer. The " altar stone " now occupies 
a sloping position, and when struck emits 
a metallic sound. Two cairns formerly 
stood in the same locality, but one was 
demolished in 1896. They are believed to 
have been connected with the above circle. 

The stone circles of the north-eastern 
counties had probably been erected by 
earlier inhabitants for the purpose of 
worship. The frequency with which 
they occur near the sea and river sides 
suggests that they belong to the period 
when the inhabitants had to depend 
upon fishing and the chase for a sub- 
sistence. It has to be noted that in many 
cases single upright stones appear in exact 
line, and form a connecting link between 
the circles, thus proving that all the stones 
had been placed according to a carefully- 
prepared plan. The presumption is that 
each circle and stone had had its specific 
purpose — i.e., some for special feasts and 
forms, and others for general worship. 
The sculpture upon the stones in many 
instances is vei - y fine; and when one re- 
flects upon the rude implements then at 
command, the long distances which many 
of the stones had to be carried before 
being set up, the primitive method of 
transport, and the lack of roads and paths, 
it will be realised how intensely earnest 
the people had been in their worship, and 
in providing its necessary adjuncts. 




James Logan, in Iris MS., gives the 
following particulars — 

" This parish lies west of that of Dyce, south 
of Fintray, and east of Kintore. The naiuo 
is Gaelic, and appears to be compounded of 
" Caen," the end or limit, and " ell-er," a great 
battle. The propriety of this etymology is 
evinced by the numerous tumuli and cairns 
scattered throughout the parish, and counten- 
anced by a tradition of a sanguinary defeat 
given the Danes in Cromar, and who are said 
to have been pursued to Kinellar. 

" This church, like many others, has been 
built in or near the site of a Druidical circle, 
several of the stones of which were to be seen 
lying horizontally in the walls of the former 
church. Some of these measured ten feet by 
four. . . . The former building was veiy 
ancient, but it would appear that the east end 
was erected prior to the other part, and is said 
to have been a, chapel. The west end was more 
ancient than the belfry surmounting it, which 
was erected in 1615. A fontstone near the door 
bore date a.d. 1534. The old building stood 
north and south, and appears to have been 
about 24 paces by 7. The old seats are said to 
have been, for the most part, ornamented with 
carved work. 

" The present church, which is very small, 
was built in 1801." 

The church was recently repaired and 
modernised, and is now an attractive and 
compact structure. 

Little is known regarding the earlier 
history of the church and parish, but 
among charters granted by David II. was 
one anent the liberties of the kirk of 
■ Kinnellour." (Robertson's Index.) The 
church continued to form one of the six 
churches which were subordinate to 
Kinkell, but, in 1649, it was disjoined 
therefrom, and the parish declared an in- 
dependent one. (Acts Parliament.) 


A granite slab, built into the outer wall 
of the church, is inscribed — 

In memory of The Reverend Gavin Mitchell, 
D.D., who was minister of the parish of 
Kinellar for more than 54 years, and died on 
the xix. day of October, mdcccxi., in the lxxxi. 
year of his age. Also of Margaret Easson, his 
spouse, and of their children, Arthur, Alex- 
ander, Elizabeth, and John, who all died 
before their father. 

Rev. Gavin Mitchell was sou of the pre- 
ceding incumbent, Rev. Arthur Mitchell, 
and succeeded to the pastorate of Kinellar 
on the translation of the latter to Skene. 
He was an ideal parish minister, and 
proved a veritable father among his 
people. Having a taste for music, he 
taught the parishioners a new method of 
psalmody, which was introduced into the 
services on 29th March, 1767. (Session 
Records.) In supplement to the par- 
ticulars given by Dr Scott (Fasti), it 
may be stated that Mr Mitchell's son, 
Gavin, died at Lynn Regis on 29th June, 
1818, in his 42nd year, while a daughter 
— Isabel — became the wife of Rev. William 
Smith, minister of Bourtie, and died 15th 
October, 1847, in her 75th year. 

A granite headstone bears — 

In memory of The Rev. David Smith, 29 
years minister of this parish, who died 2nd 
February, 1841, aged 85. 

Rev. David Smith, M.A., was licensed 
by the Presbytery of Garioch, and, prior 
to his appointment to Kinellar, acted as 
assistant to Rev. Alexander Turing, 
minister of Oyne. It is stated, on reliable 
authority, that he had seen and conversed 
with the celebrated Peter Garden of 
Auchterless (died 12th January, 1775, at 
the reputed age of 131), who declared 
that, when a boy travelling in England as 
page, with his master — Garden of Troup 
— he met, in extreme old age, Henry 



Jenkins, who asserted that, when a boy, 
he had carried arrows for the use of the 
English archers at the battle of Flodden 
in 1513. Jenkins was born in 1500 or 
1501, lived to the reputed age of 169, and 
died in 1070. (Tombstone at Bolton, York- 
shire.) It will thus be seen that these 
three generations covered the phenomen- 
ally long period of 340 years, i.e., 1501- 

On a headstone in a railed-in grave — 
In memory of Janet Gerard, daughter of the 
Rev. Robert Fiddes, who died 20th November, 
1851, at the age of 16. Also of William and 
Helen Ann, who died in infancy. Also of Janet 
Reith, his spouse, who died the 18th of August, 
1853, at the age of 47. Also of Alexander, their 
son, who died the 8th of July, 1859, at the age 
of 20. Also of Helen Ann, who died the 23rd 
of November, 1861, at the age of 17. Also of 
Robert Elphinstone, who died the 10th of May, 
1862, at the age of 25. Also of the said Rev. 
Robert Fiddes, M.A., for 55 years minister of 
the parish, who died the 21st of January, 1889, 
at the age of 89. Also of Margaret Gerard, 
his second wife, who died the 1st July, 1902 
aged 93 years. 

The above details differ on several points 
from those given in Scott's "Fasti," but 
may he taken as correct. Rev. Robert 
Fiddes was the son of William Fiddes, 
farmer, Belhelvie. 


The parish lands were originally included 
in the thanage of Kintore, but were gradu- 
ally broken up and formed into separate 
possessions. In the fifteenth century, Kin- 
ellar proper was owned by a family named 
Scherar. William Scherar married Isabella 
Rutherford, and they had a family of at 
least three sons— Duncan, Andrew, and 
Alexander. Of, Duncan afterwards 
became Rector of Clatt, and an important 
Churchman. In 1464 William Scherar and 
his wife disponed Kinellar to Henry Forbes, 
who is known through his connection with 

Thainston. (See Kintore.) The lands 
were afterwards possessed by the Patons of 
Kinaldie, and at a later date were pur- 
chased by John Gordon, fourth son of Sir 
James Gordon, ninth laird and fifth baronet 
of Lesmoir. He married Henrietta, second 
daughter of William Fraser, eleventh Lord 
Saltoun, and they had a family of four sons 
and six daughters. (See Fraserburgh.) 
The lands were afterwards acquired by the 
Dyer Society, Aberdeen. 


In 1696, Glasgowego was owned and 
farmed by John Keith, a cadet of the 
Keiths of Auquhorsk. About 1720 it was 
purchased for £500 by Alexander Molly son, 
for some time a magistrate in Old Aber- 
deen, who continued in possession until his 
death, on 12th June, 1736, in his 75th year. 
He married Elizabeth Mair, who died 
in November, 1750, predeceased by a 
daughter, Elizabeth, who died in October, 
1719. (Tombstone in Old Machar grave- 
yard.) He was succeeded by his son, 
William, merchant in Old Aberdeen, who 
acquired Dean's Croft in 1745 and Symon's 
Croft in 1747. In or about the latter year, 
Glasgowego was bought for £800 by Alex- 
ander Robertson, merchant, Aberdeen, son 
of Baillie James Robertson, who, upon 
three separate occasions, between 1740 and 
1757, was elected Provost of Aberdeen. He 
married— first, Jean Strachan, and they 
had a family of nine, of whom six died in 
infancy. Of the others, Elizabeth became 
the wife of Dr Robert Pollock, Principal 
and Professor of Divinity in Marischal 
College, but died in 1753, at the early age 
of 26 ; and Jean married Alexander Lums- 
den, advocate, and died 10th May, 1773. 
Provost Robertson, shortly after the de- 
mise of his first wife, married Jean Rose, 
of the family of Kilravock. He died upon 
20th November, 1775, in his 73rd year. 
Further interesting particulars regarding 



this family will be found in Munro's " Pro- 
vosts, etc.," pp. 223-24, from which some 
of these notes are taken. 

In 1780, Glasgowego was acquired by 
George Wilson, merchant in Aberdeen, the 
sasine in his favour describing the property 
as having been formerly possessed by Alex- 
ander Robertson, merchant, Oporto. Mr 
Wilson married Janet, daughter of William 
Symson of Ferryhill. He was succeeded by 
a son, Adam, who married Jean, daughter 
of Thomas Aberdein, farmer, Hillside, 
Edit. He died 31st December, 1825, aged 
74. His son, George, was admitted a mem- 
ber of the Society of Advocates in Aber- 
deen on 16th November, 1816, and died 
29th November, 1867, aged 73. Other sons 
were Thomas, Adam, Alexander, and 
William. The last-named became a mer- 
chant in Jamaica. 

During Mr Adam Wilson's proprietorship 
the public road leading from Aberdeen to 
the north was carried through the lands 
of Glasgowego, and, for the ground thereby 
appropriated, he received a sum equal to 
the whole amount which had been paid for 
the estate little more than half a century 
before. Commenting upon this, Dr Skene 
Keith (Agricultural Survey of Aberdeen- 
shire) says that ' ' a more striking proof of 
the rise in value of land is not to be found 
in any part of the kingdom." 

Between 1329 and 1371, David II. 
granted to Robert Glen the lands of Glas- 
gow-le-forest (Robertson's Index), which 
afterwards were known by the respective 
titles of Whitecorse and Glasgowforest. 
They were afterwards in the possession of 
the Leslie family. Upon 17th October, 
1508, a special court was held at Auld 
Leyis, in the barony of Leslie, for the pur- 
pose of settling boundaries of property 
which were in dispute between George 
Leslie of Leslie and Walter Leslie of Glas- 
gowforest. (Grant Leslie's MS.) The 
proprietor in 1581-2 was John Gordon, son 

of George Gordon of Lesmoir and his wife, 
Katherine, daughter of Alexander Forbes 
of Towie. He married Margaret Udny of 
Udny. He seems to have parted with 
Glasgowforest to his brother, Alexander 
Gordon of Tillymynat, who, in 1607, is de- 
signed proprietor of Lesmoir, and the hus- 
band of Mariot, or Margaret, daughter of 
Alexander Forbes of Pitsligo. The sons 
of this couple are named as James, George, 
of Glasgowforest, John, parson of Crimond, 
and Alexander. 

In the following century the estate was 
held by Francis Leys, Baillie of Aberdeen, 
who, in 1755, married Elizabeth Ingram, 
daughter of William Ingram, sometime 
merchant in Huntly. Mr Leys was a 
partner of the well-known firm of Leys, 
Still, and Co., afterwards Leys, Masson, 
and Co., linen thread and cloth manu- 
facturers at Gordon's Mills. He died in 
1788, and was succeeded by his son, Thomas 
Leys, who was Provost of Aberdeen in 1797- 
98, and again in 1803-4. He was the chief 
promoter of those city improvements which 
resulted in the construction of Union 
Bridge, Union Street, and King Street. 
(Morgan's Annals of Woodside, etc., p. 66.) 
The Provost, who was Convener of the 
County of Aberdeen, died unmarried, on 
24th October, 1809, aged 45. (Munro's 
Provosts, etc., pp. 257-8.) His successor in 
Glasgowforest was his sister, Christian 
Leys, who, in 1783, had married Alexander 
Brebner of Learney. 

In 1696, Blackchambers was owned by 
Thomas Orem, who had then his wife and 
one son, William, residing in family. Its 
valuation at that date was £133 6s 8d. (Poll 
Book.) Towards the end of the following 
century, the property belonged to Alex- 
ander Robertson, son of Provost Alexander 
Robertson of Glasgowego. He died upon 
27th September, 1793, aged 61. 

At an early period the Forbes family 
were proprietors of part of the parish 



lands. On 20th January, 1626, William 
Forbes of Craigievar sold the land of 
" Cairnedradlane," with fishings on the 
Don. to Patrick, Bishop of Aberdeen, and 
the moderators of the presbyteries within 
the diocese, for ten thousand merks. morti- 
fied by them for the purpose of providing a 
salary to the professor of divinity to bo 
admitted by them within the University 
and King's College. (Records King's Col- 
lege, p. 143-4.) The property is still held 
by the University. 


An ancient stone — considerably broken— 
displays the Keith arms, the initials I.K., 
and various emblems, together with an in- 
scription in Latin, which may be trans- 

In this tomb lies an eminent man, John 
Keith of Auquhorsk, Baillie. He died 1 June, 
1651, in the 59th year of his age. 

The lands of Auquhorsk were given by 
William, second Earl Marischal, to his 
third son, Alexander Keith, who was born 
in 1460. The succeeding proprietor was 
James Keith, who was born in 1480, and 
subsequently married Marjory Leslie, 
daughter of John Leslie, second laird of 
Wardes by his fourth marriage with a 
daughter of Gordon of Haddo. (Mac- 
farlane's "Gen. Collections," II., pp. 23- 
24.) Their son, John Keith, born in 1505, 
succeeded. He in turn gave place to his 
son, Alexander Keith, who was born in 
1530, and was, according to the Chronicle 
of Aberdeen, " slayne in Aberdene be the 
gudman of Babithan, John Chalmer, and 
departtit the vii day June, 1584 yeris." 
Spalding Club Miscellany, II., p. 56.) 
Twelve years later, Chalmer, with his ac- 
complices, Arthur Anderson, burgess of 
Aberdeen, and Walter Leslie, obtained a 
free pardon on the plea that the murder 
of Keith was accidentnl. (Privy Council 
Register, V., p. 397.) 

The next laird of Auquhorsk was Gilbert 
Keith, who, in 1578-79, married Janet, 
daughter of Alexander Burnett of Leys. 
(Family of Burnett of Leys, p. 32.) These 
were the parents of John Keith, the 
"eminent man" of the inscription trans- 
lated above. He was a baillie of Inverurie 
and of one of the numerous baronies then 
scattered over the country (possibly that of 
the Earl Marischal — Keith of Auquhorsk, 
being Baillie of Court at Hallforest as early 
as 1535 — Cristison's " Protocol Book "), and 
that he possessed means is shown by the 
appearance of his name in the list of wad- 
setters of Aberdeenshire for 1633-34. He 
was succeeded by his son, James Keith, 
born 1630; W.S. 1664; Sheriff-Depute of 
the Meams in 1705 ; and then Baillie of 
the barony of Urie. (Barron's " Court Book 
of Barony of Urie," pp 112-14.) He seems 
to have resided in Old Aberdeen, of which 
he was elected one of the magistrates in 
1690. (Orem, p. 163.) He is said to have 
sold, in 1696, the lands of Auquhorsk to 
his kinsman, Rev. Gilbert Keith, minister 
of Dunnottar. Many of these particulars 
are taken from Mr P. J. Anderson's care- 
fully prepared Genealogical Tree, "The 
Heirs of the Keiths," issued with " Scot- 
tish Notes and Queries'" for September, 


A white marble slab, fixed into a free- 
stone monument, is inscribed — 

In memory of Charles Robertson, Esq. cf 
Tartowie, who died 29th August, 1819, aged 
67 years, and of his family, vizt., Jane, who 
died in August, 1801; Isaac, in August, 1805; 
Margaret, in August, 1815; Jessie, in Decem- 
ber, 1825; and Ann, in November, 1830: 
Adam, in December, 1836 

In 1696 the lands of Tartowie, with those, 
of Auchronie, belonged to the representa- 
tives of Sir Alexander Burnett of Craig- 
myle. who had married Nicolas, daughter 



of Peter Young, of Auldbar. They had a 
family of three daughters, Isabel, Anna, 
and Margaret. Sir Alexander Burnett 
died in 1694, and numerous particulars 
regarding his family are given in the New 
Spalding Club volume, " The Family of 
Burnett of Leys." 

The properties were afterwards held 
separately — Tartowie, or Tertowie, passing 
from the Robertsons to Dr Alexander 
Ewing, a successful physician and surgeon 
in Aberdeen, and for some time Lecturer 
on Anatomy in the University of Aberdeen. 
He married Barbara, daughter of Thomas 
M'Combie of Easter Skene. Their son, 
Alexander Ewing, Staff Paymaster and 
Lieutenant-Colonel of the Army Pay De- 
partment, married Juliana Horatia Gatty. 
of parabolic fame. 

Tertowie was afterwards acquired by 
Colonel William Ross King, a descendant 
of the ancient family of Barra and of 
Dudwick. He was the second son of Rev. 
William Hutchinson King, Nuneaton, 
Warwickshire, being collaterally descended 
from General Sir James King, a celebrated 
soldier, under Gnstavus Adolphus, in the 
Thirty Years' War, and subsequently 
acting, during the Civil War in England, 
as second in command of the Northern 
Army of Charles I., by whom he was 
created Lord Eythen in 1642. At his 
death in 1652 he left no surviving male 
issue, and bequeathed his property to the 
children of his brothers in succession. At 
intervals during his life he had resided 
on his property of Dudwick, the old house 
of which was pulled down only some few 
years ago. In 1859 Colonel William Ross 
King married Lucan, younger daughter 
of Colonel William Gordon-Cumiug-Skene 
of Pitlurg and Dyce, and was thus a 
brother-in-law of the late Mr Charles 
Elphinstone Dalrymple, of Kinellar Lodge. 
He was the author of numerous works, 
including "Campaigning in Kafnrland," 

and " The Sportsman and Naturalist in 
Canada." He rendered aid in the pre- 
paration of the volume, " The Castles of 
Aberdeenshire," and contributed many in- 
teresting articles to the Proceedings of the 
Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. He 
died in September, 1890, and was suc- 
ceeded in Tertowie by his only son, James 
Alexander Gordon King, then a lieutenant 
in the 3rd Gordon Highlanders— after- 
wards captain, Scots Guards, who died in 
May, 1904, in his 32nd year. 

For a considerable period Auchronie be- 
longed to Mr Crombie, and thereafter to 
George Gibb Shirra Gibb, of Cults, by 
whom it was sold to Thomas Farquhar, of 
the H.E.I.C.S., and Surgeon-Major, 
I. M.S., son of Rev. Alexander Farquhar, 
parish minister of Pitsligo. Dr Farquhar 
died upon 3rd January, 1891. 


On a Celtic cross, in a railed-in space, is 
the inscription — 

To the beloved memory of Charles Elphin- 
stone Dalrymple. Bom 23rd March, 1817; 
died 14th July, 1891. 

Them also which sleep in Jesus will God 
bring with Him. — 1st Thess., iv., 14. 

In Thy presence is fulness of joy. — Ps. xvi., 11. 

A small headstone alongside is in- 
scribed — 

Mabel Graeme, second daughter of Charles 
and Christian Elphinstone Dalrymple. Born 
April 25th, and died July 25th, 1864. 

I say unto you that in Heaven their angels 
do always behold the face of my Father which 
is in Heaven.— Matt, xviii., 10. 

Charles Elphinstone-Dalrymple was the 
seventh son of Sir Robert Dalrymple Horn 
Elphinstone, of Logie-Elphinstone. He 
devoted much time and attention to an- 
tiquarian research, and was recognised as 
an authority, not only on the topography, 
but also the family history of the north- 
east of Scotland. He was a Fellow of the 



Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, a 
member of the Spalding Club, and a vice 
president, as well as convener of the Edi- 
torial Committee of the New Spalding 
Club. No historian more willingly im- 
parted his information to others, and i'ew 
are aware of the trouble he gave himself 
to investigate and verify obscure points. 
In 1883 he published "Lays, Highland 
and Lowland." 

It may be added that in 1868 Mr Charles 
Elphinstone-Dalrymple restored the Pit- 
lurg Aisle at Cairnie. His interest 
theioin arose from his having, on 24th 
April, 1860, married Christian, daughter 
of Colonel William Gordon-Cuming-Skene 
of Pitlurg and Dyce, a descendant of Sir 
John Gordon, who originally erected the 
aisle in 1597. 

A granite obelisk is inscribed — 

Sacred to the memory of James Whyte, of 
Clinterty and Glasgowego Cottage, who died 
22nd September, 1866, aged 80 years. Also of 
his spouse, Agnes Moir, who died at Aldbro, 
Yorkshire, 12th November, 1877, aged 70 years. 

In memory of Agnes, only daughter of James 
Whyte of Clinterty, who died 4th June, 1856, 
aged 21 years. 


A granite monument, built into the 
outer wall of the church, bears the in- 
scription — 

In memory of George Milne of Kinaldic. 
Born 9th July, 1794, died 23rd September, 1871, 
and Margaret Mortimer, his wife. Born 18th 
April, 1801, died 14th April, 1886. 

George Milne was a successful railway 
contractor, and afterwards a timber 
merchant in Aberdeen. The members of 
his family are James, who is now in pos- 
session of Kinaldie, and practically re- 
built its mansion house; John Henderson 
of Craigellie ; Mrs John Cook of Ashley ; 
Mrs George Jamieson ; and Miss Milne. 


Erected by Ann Bisset, in memory of her 
husband, William Moir, late farmer, Begsley, 
who died the 31st of March, 1822, aged 61 
years. Also of their son James, who died 5th 
January, 1820, aged 24 years. Also of their 
son George, who died the 20th of June, 1821, 
aged 24 years. 

How still and silent now we rest, 
Lie mouldering here in kindred dust ; 
Have left the friends we loved so dear, 
And dropping down unshed a tear. 

Upon a flat stone (broken through), 
with various emblems, including a reaper 
with a scythe, sand-glass, globe, etc., is 
the inscription — 

Here lyes George Wood, farmer in Strath- 
ray, who departed this life Aprile 22, 1749, 
aged 53 ; as also Alexander and John Wood, 
his children. . . . 

A tablestone, level with the ground, 
and having at the foot representations of 
a skull, cross-bones, coffin, and sand-glass, 
surrounded by a Latin motto, which, 
translated, reads, Death is the gate of 
life, is inscribed — 

Here lyes Andrew Keith, who dyed August 
2nd, 1723, as also Alexander, Jannet, and 
Margret Keiths, his children. 

Also Margaret Singer, spouse to William 
Keith, who died the 16th of Sept., 1821, aged 
37 years. 

Four tablestones are inscribed respec- 
tively — 

Erected in memory of John Moir, late farmer 
in Mill of Balcairn, Meldrum parish, who died 
25th March, 1812, aged 88 years. Also Mar- 
jory Walker, his spouse, who died 22nd May, 
1816, aged 79 years. Likewise George Moir, 
their son, late merchant in Aberdeen. . . . 

Here lies, in hopes of a blessed resurrection, 
the body of Elspat Chessor, who died March 
19th, 1702, aged 73 years, laful spouse to 
William Reith, smith at Blackburn. . . . 



Here lies Adam Cruickshank, late mason in 
Aberdeen, who died 7th April, 1785, aged 49 
years. Also William, his son. Also Isabel 
Moir. his spouse, who died 10th April, 1827. 
aged 90 years. Also Janet, his daughter, 
relict of James Bothwell, shipmaster, who 
died 22nd May, 1860, aged 84 years. The 
above James Bothwell died in Aberdeen, 29th 
January. 1823, aged 58 years. 

Here ly Alexander Rae, sometime in Kin- 
aldie, who departed this life 1740, aged 78, and 
Nans Garden, his spouse, died 1746, aged 86, 
and Wil, who departed 1721, aged 28. Alex., 
who departed 1719, aged 18. . . . 

Our passions vain, and vain desire, 

That led us oft astray, 
We charge our flesh, when it shall rise, 

To leave them in the clay. 

In a nameless and now unknown grave 
at the west end of the church lie the 
remains of Rev. John Row, Principal of 
King's College, 1652-1661. On the fall of 
Cromwell he had to retire, when he en- 
deavoured to support himself by teaching. 
In this he was only partially successful . 
and, finally taking up his residence with 
his son-in-law, Rev. John Mercer, at the 
Manse of Kinellar, died there in 1672. 

The parish is rich in antiquarian re- 
mains, the most interesting of which is the 
sculptured stone, found in 1801, forming 
the foundation of the south-east corner 
of the old church. It is a block of granite 
of a somewhat irregular shape, about 40 
inches in height by about two feet in 
width, showing on one side three incised 
circles, below which are an ornamental 
crescent with rod, symbols, etc. The 
stone is fully described and illustrated in 
the Spalding Club's " Sculptured Stones of 
Scotland," and also in J. Romilly Allan's 
" Early Christian Monuments of Scot- 
land." It is pleasing to add that, for the 

better preservation of this relic of a by- 
gone age, the heritors and kirk-session of 
the parish have recently had it removed 
from the churchyard wall and inserted in 
the inner side of the wall of the church 

Information as to other ancient remains 
will be found in the respective statistical 
accounts, etc. 


Kemnay owed fealty to St Anne, the 
mother of the Blessed Virgin, whose feast 
was observed on 26th July. 

The parish was originally a vicarage, 
which depended upon Kinkell. In 1567, 
Arthur Forbes was minister of Kemnay, 
Echt, and Dilmaok, at a salary of six 
score merks, the contemporary reader at 
Kemnay being Thomas Gray, who had the 
modest allowance of xvi. lib. (Antiq., I., 
p. 227-30.) In 1649, Kemnay was dis- 
joined from Kinkell, and declared a 
separate parish. (Acts Parliament.) 

In 1632, an extensive renovation of the 
old church took place — if, indeed, a new 
edifice was not then erected. Its belfry, 
bearing the date 1632, is still preserved, 
and stands within the gardens of Kemnay 
House. The old church is understood to 
have been cruciform, with very thick walls 
and small windows. It was defective 
through having its floor, in the centre, 
from three to four feet below the level of 
the surroimding buiying-ground. The 
floor itself was of earth, which created 
dust in summer, and formed a recep- 
tacle for water in winter and wet weather. 
It is asserted that in time of frost the 
parishioners had frequently to sit with ice 
for a flooring, and, heating in country 
churches being then unusual, their dis- 




comfort must have been great. There 
were three galleries, to which entrance 
was got hy two outside doors, approached, 
not by stairs, hut hy a sloping bank. 
When the old church was demolished in 
1844 to make room for the present one, 
the remains of a high altar were exposed 
in the east wall. This fact would indicate 
that it was built considerably before the 
date found on the belfry. The bell is in- 
scribed — A. Lawson. Old Aberdeen. 

The old churchyard was comparatively 
small, but some eighteen years ago a sub- 
stantial addition to it was made upon the 
north side. About eight years later, the 
older portion was levelled up, and all 
fallen or sunk tombstones reset. 

The object which attracts most atten- 
tion is the old vault, which was erected 
for the purpose of protecting for a time 
the bodies of newly-deceased persons 
against the nefarious operations of the 
" resurrectionists." It is a strongly- 
built structure of stone and lime, arched 
on the top, and then covered over with 
mould, on which grass has grown. The 
end and sides are concealed by the rising 
ground. The date 1831 is on a stone over 
the entrance door, which is of heavy iron. 
The roof is firmly leaded within, to serve 
the double purpose of affording additional 
strength and a protection against water 
percolating through. Although the build- 
ing remains intact, it, happily, is not now 
required for its original purpose. 

The parish has always been recognised as 
bracing and healthy, many of the parish- 
ioners passing the allotted span. From 
the undernoted inscriptions (they are 
selected without the slightest regard to the 
age of those commemorated), it will be 
noted that at least twelve persons reached 
80 and upwards, while one is recorded as 
dying at the patriarchal age of 102 years. 


A tablestone bears the following inscrip- 
tion — 

In memory of the Rev. Patrick Mitchell, 
D.D., who was for 51 years minister of this 
his native parish, and died on the First Dec, 
1838, in the 84th year of his age ; also his 
spouse, Agnes Bruce, who died 11th Sept., 
1837, in the 83rd year of her age, and of 
Robert Mitchell, surgeon, their son, who died 
at Nether Inver, in the parish of Monymusk, 
6th Aug., 1859, in the 66th year of his age ; 
also of Agnes Mitchell, their daughter, who 
died at Nether Inver 8th October, 1867, in the 
78th year of her age. 

Rev. Dr Patrick Mitchell was the son of 
Alexander Mitchell, farmer, Craigearn. 
He acted for some time as schoolmaster of 
Fintray, and was ordained minister of 
Kemnay 18th June, 1788. He possessed 
great force of character and scholarly 
attainments. In addition to the family 
named in the above inscription, he had 
three sons, Alexander, Patrick, and 
William. His son, Dr Robert, was held in 
high esteem by the Grant family, and in 
1856 they had his portrait painted by 
James Cassie, R.S.A. 

A railed-in grave has a mural stone in- 
scribed — 

In loving memory of the Rev. George 
Peter, M.A., for 58 years minister of this 
parish, who died on the 12th Dec, 1897, aged 
83 years. 

" Blessed are the pure in heart, for they 
shall see God." 

A white marble tablet, built into the 
inner wall of the church bears the inscrip- 
tion — 

Erected by the Parishioners of Kemnay to 
the loved memory of the Rev. George Peter, 
M.A., for fifty-eight years their dear friend 
and minister. 

Ordained 25th June, 1839. 
Died 12th December, 1897. 

"This is my commandment that ye love one 



Rev. George Peter, son of John Peter, 
farmer, St Cyrus, was an ideal parish 
minister, and took a keen interest in the 
temporal as well as the spiritual welfare 
of his congregation and the parishioners 
generally. He also interested himself 
greatly in the educational affairs of the 
parish. He had the church substantially 
enlarged in 1871, and on his celebrating 
his jubilee, 18 years later, he was made 
the recipient of many testimonials, includ- 
ing a cheque for a large amount, which 
had been subscribed to by all classes of 
the community. Although for about four 
years prior to his death he had the aid of 
an a-ssistant and successor, it will be noted 
that he and his predecessor, Dr Mitchell, 
held the pastorate for the long period of 
109 years. 


The lands of Kemnay were erected into 
a barony at an early period, and, accord- 
ing to the Lord Chamberlain's accounts, 
the ward of the same was, in 1348, be- 
stowed by the Crown upon Norman de 
Leslie. Shortly afterwards, the lands 
were possessed by the Melvilles of Glen- 
bervie, Sheriffs of the Mearns. In 1397, 
Andrew Melville served as a juryman at 
an inquest held in Aberdeen, and is then 
designed as "of Camnay." (Antiq. III., 
263.) About 1420, Sheriff Melville in- 
curred the hostility of the neighbouring 
lairds in the Mearns, who were so per- 
sistent in their complaints against him 
as to draw forth the Crown commentary — 
" Sorra gin the Shirra were sodden and 
suppit in broo." Accepting this in the 
literal sense, the lairds invited the Sheriff 
to a hunting match in the forest of Gar- 
vock, where, all arrangements having been 
previously made, they actually boiled him 
in a cauldron. The barbarous exploit is 
celebrated by Alexander Balfour in his 
ballad, "The Kaim of Mathers." Refer- 

ence to it is also made in the Border 
Minstrelsy, and in the Appendix to the 
preface of the Spalding Club's " Sculptured 
Stoues" (Vol. II.). In the last-named it 
is shown that several of the offenders got 
the benefit of the law of Clan Macduff. 

In 1468, the last Melville died, being 
succeeded in both Kemnay and Glenbervie 
by his daughter, who had married Sir 
John Auchinleck. Subsequently, the 
heiress of the Auchinleck family married 
Sir William Douglas, second son of 
Archibald, 5th Earl of Angus, and thus 
carried the lands into that distinguished 
family. Sir William fell on the disastrous 
field of Flodden in 1513, and was suc- 
ceeded by his son Archibald, who was then 
a minor. He was knighted by James V., 
and was occasionally resident at Kemnay. 
He married Agnes Keith, daughter of 
William, third Earl Marischal, and of 
their family, James, the second son, be- 
came parish minister of Glenbervie, and 
the only daughter, Elizabeth, married Sir 
Alexander Falconer of Halkerton. The 
elder son, Sir William, was the most not- 
able of the proprietors of Kemnay, be- 
coming, as he did, ninth Earl of Angus, 
after contesting the honours with James 
VI. He accompanied Queen Mary on her 
journey through Scotland, was with her 
at Balquhain, and fought on her behalf 
at Corrichie— all in 1562. He married 
Egedia, daughter of Sir Robert Graham 
of Morphie, and had a family of six sons 
and four daughters. Two other proprie- 
tors of the name of Douglas successively 
owned Kemnay, till in 1624 it was parted 
with to Thomas Crombie and his wife, 
Margaret Ker, their sasine being dated 
31st July of that year. (Aberdeenshire 
Sasines, Vol. IV.) 

Crombie, who was afterwards knighted, 
possessed both power and influence. He 
was a Writer to the Signet; Sheriff of 
Aberdeenshire in 1633-35 ; Commissioner 




to Parliament for Aberdeenshire in 1630- 
33-39, and 1643 ; Commissioner for Re- 
vising Acts of Parliament in 1633 ; and 
Member of Council of War in 1643. 
(Acts of Parliament.) In the troublous 
times of the Covenanters, he and his estate 
suffered severely. In 1639, Montrose and 
his army plundered Kemnay House, carry- 
ing off much spoil, and selling at a trifle 
440 bolls of meal found in the Kemnay 

Other raids upon the property and 
mansion-house are described by Spalding. 

Sir Thomas Crombie died after 5th 
March and before 12th June, 1644, sur- 
vived by his wife. He bequeathed 20,000 
merks Scots for the maintenance of eight 
bursars at Marischal College, and for the 
remuneration of its Principal and Pro- 
fessors, 10,000 merks for the minister of 
Greyfriars Church, 1000 pounds to the 
Guild Brethren's Hospital, and 500 merks 
to the Trades Hospital. (Mortification 
Book, p. 120, etc.) On 12th June, 1644, 
Elspet Crombie, spouse of John Gordon, 
burgess of Aberdeen, and Christina 
Crombie, spouse of Robert Smith or 
Smyth, burgess of Aberdeen, were served 
as heirs portioners (being sisters) of Sir 
Thomas Crombie in the lands of Kemnay 
(Retours). The first-named lady died 
before 2nd March, 1648, when her son, 
Magister Alexander Gordon, was served 
heir in half the lands of Kemnay. Shortly 
afterwards, the estate was acquired, 
through purchase, by Alexander Strachan 
of Glenkindie, whose son Alexander, on 
6th January, 1675, was served heir. The 
last-named, in 1682, sold the lands to Sir 
George Nicolson, who for some time had 
acted as Civilist in King's College, and 
had been called to the Scottish Bar in 
1661. In 1682, he was raised to the 
dignity of a Judge of Session, when he 
adopted the title of Lord Kemnay, from 
his newly-acquired estate. Sir George's 

brother, Thomas, became Bishop of Peris- 
tachium and first Vicar-Apostolic of 


In 1688, the lands of Kemnay were pur- 
chased by Thomas Burnett, second son of 
James Burnett of Craigmyle ; and the 
great-great-great-great grandson of the 
latter in direct line is the present pro- 
prietor of Kemnay. A reserved space, 
surrounded on two sides by the church, 
and on the other two by a massive iron 
railing, set on a dwarf wall, contains 
several tablets, tablestone, etc., which bear 
inscriptions to various members of the 
Burnett family ; and as the particulars 
there given differ widely from the pub- 
lished pedigree lists, we deem it advisable 
to give copies of each of them, as under — 

. . . In memory of Thomas Burnet of Kem- 
nay, second son of James Burnet of Craig- 
myle, second son of Alexander Burnet of 
Leys, who was buried here on the 6th of 
Nov., 1688. Also of Margaret Pierson, his 
widow. Was interred here on the 19th of 
February, 1689. 

Thomas Burnett was a Writer in Edin- 
burgh, and his wife was the only child of 
John Pierson, merchant, Edinburgh. In 
addition to several children who died in 
infancy, they had two sons — Thomas, who 
succeeded, and Andrew, W.S., Edinburgh, 
who married his cousin Jean, daughter of 
Alexander Burnett of Craigmyle. 


Here lyes the body of Thomas Burnett of 
Kemnay, Esq., who, after many peregrina- 
tions through most of the countries of Europe, 
rests here, in hopes of a blessed resurrection. 
Dyed February 26th, 1729, aged 73. 

Here also are buried George Burnett, Esq. 
of Kemnay, his only son, who died Oct. 
31st, 1780, aged 66, and his wife Helen, 
daughter of Sir Alexander Burnett of Leys, 
Bart., who died Sept. 1st, 1750. Their 



daughters, Ann, who died Jan., 1781, aged 
45 ; Mary, who died Nov. 29th, 1802, aged 55 ; 
Helen, who died Sept. 20, 1810, aged 76; 
and Janet Dyce, second wife of George Bur- 
nett, Esq. of Kemnay, who died July 16th, 
1802, aged 84. 

[Re-erected 1869, and the name of George 
Burnett, Esq., and those following then 

Thomas Burnett qualified as a lawyer, 
and was a man of culture and conspicuous 
ability. He occupied an important posi- 
tion in the Court of Hanover, and the 
Electress Sophia held him in the highest 
esteem, and entrusted him with the trans- 
action of important business. In the latter 
connection, he went to France, where, on 
a capricious and frivolous pretext, he was 
imprisoned in the Bastile. Through power- 
ful influence, he was at length liberated. 
Late in life he married the young and 
beautiful Elizabeth, daughter of Richard 
Brickenden, of Inkpen, Berks ; and they 
had a family of one son, George, who 
succeeded, and a daughter, Anne, who 
died in 1787. After Mr Burnett's death, 
his widow married her son's tutor, George 
Lamont, who afterwards became a cele- 
brated physician in London, and his landed 
and other property ultimately fell to the 

George Burnett, the third laird, married 
— first, Helen, daughter of Sir Alexander 
Burnett of Leys ; and her beauty and 
sweetness of voice are happily set forth in 
the old poem, " Don " — 

Mind Kemnay's seat, how beautifully placed, 
With shady woods and flowery gardens 

graced ; 
See how the feathered choir extend their 

By nature taught — hark how they swell their 

Yet when fair Peggy, mistress of the grove, 
Joins her sweet voice to sing the praise of 

The birds sit listening to the wondrous song ; 
The river calms, and smoothly glides along; 

The gentle zephyrs with her tresses play, 
And from her balmy breath steal sweets away. 

Besides the children stated in the above 
inscription, they had a son Alexander, who 
succeeded, and two daughters, Elzabeth 
and Jane. The last-named married Alex- 
ander Dunbar of Boath. 

George Burnett married, secondly, 
Janet, daughter of James Dyce of Dis- 
blair ; but they had no family. 


In memory of Alexander Burnett, Esq. of 
Kemnay, British Secretary of Embassy, and 
afterwards Charge d' Affaires of the Court of 
Prussia. Born July 3, 1735 ; died Dec. 30, 
1802. Also of Christian Leslie, his wife. 
Born Oct. 1, 1761; died Feby 14, 1841. 

George, their eldest son, born May, 1783, 
died Jan., 1784. Elizabeth, their second 
daughter, born Jan. 5, 1788; died July 18, 
1806. Lamont, their youngest daughter, born 
June 2, 1791; died Sept. 27, 1842. Christian, 
their third daughter, born Oct. 17, 1789 ; died 
May 9, 1874. 

Alexander Burnett, fourth laird, was 
greatly esteemed by Frederick the Great, 
whom he personally attended ' during the 
Seven Years' War. He married Christian, 
daughter of John Leslie, for some time 
tutor to Lord Aberdeen, and afterwards 
Professor of Greek in King's College and 
University, and in addition to the children 
named in the inscription, they had a son, 
John, who succeeded, and a daughter, 
Helen, who married Dr James Bannerman, 
Professor of Medicine in Marischal College 
and Univei-sity. 


Erected by Alexander G. Burnett (Filius 
Patri) in memory of John Burnett, Esqr. of 
Kemnay. Born June 5th, 1786 ; died December 
22nd, 1847. 

According to the light he had, he served the 
Lord conscientiously in his day, and with a 
singleness of purpose rarely seen. 

Mark the perfect man, and behold the up- 
right, for the end of that man is peace. Psalm 
xxxvii.. ver. 37. 



In memory of John Burnett, Esq. of Kernnay, 
born June 5th, 1786 ; died Dec. 22, 1847. Also 
of Erskine William Burnett, his youngest son, 
born Dec. 16th, 1828 ; died Oct. 31st, 1848. Also 
of Mary Stuart, wife of John Burnett of Kern- 
nay. Born July 14, 1786. Died March 1, 1872. 
Also of their fifth son, Henry Martin Burnett. 
Born April 2, 1826. Died at Perth, July 12, 
1881, and is buried here. 

John Burnett, fifth laird, greatly im- 
proved the estate, alike by draining, re- 
claiming, and planting. He married Mary 
(she was sister of James Stuart, W.S., of 
Dunearn, who fatally shot Sir Alexander 
Boswell (Bozzy's son) in a duel near 
Auchtertool, 26th March, 1822), daughter 
of Charles Stuart of Dunearn, Fifeshire ; 
and, besides the children mentioned in the 
inscription, they had Alexander George, 
the present proprietor ; Charles John ; 
George, LL.D., Lyon King of Arms, who 
died 23rd January, 1890 ; Stuart Mowbray, 
who died 9th January, 1893 ; Mary 
Erskine, who died 25th April, 1890; and 
Christina, referred to in the next inscrip- 
tion — 


Here lies the body of Christina Leslie 
Burnett, second daughter of John Burnett, Esq. 
of Kemnay. Born Sept. 1st, 1818; died Oct. 
20th, 1866. 

Shall I fear o' earth thy bosom 
Shrink and faint to lay me there? 

Whence the fragrant lovely blossom 
Springs — to gladden earth and air. 

Whence the tree, the brook, the river, 
Soft clouds floating in the sky, 

All fair things come— whispering ever 
Of the love divine on high. 

Yea ! Whence One arose victorious 
O'er the darkness of the grave, 

His strong arm revealing glorious 
In its might divine to save. 

No I fair earth — a tender mother 
Thou hast been — and yet may be, 

And through Him my Lord and brother 
Sweet shall be my rest in thee. 

Here also rests the body of Mary Erskine 
Burnett, elder daughter of John Burnett of 
Kemnay. Born May 5, 1815. Died April 25, 

We look for the resurrection of the dead. 

The following inscriptions refer to the 
first and second wife of the present laird, 
who, in 1893, married Emily Julia, 
daughter of Joseph Burch, Tuddenham 
Hall, Ipswich — 


In memory of Amelia Kendall, for five short 
years the wife of Alexander G. Burnett of 
Kemnay. Born December 25th, 1826. Died 
April 22nd, 1855, at the early age of 28. 

" He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut 
down." Job xiv., ver. 2. 

Also Anna Maria Pledge, for eight years the 
wife of the said Alexander George Burnett, 
who departed this life Sept. 9th, 1885, aged 36 
years, in sure and certain hope. She was a 
model daughter, sister, mother, and wife. Her 
hope was in Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, 
to-day, and for ever. 

Amelia Kendall was a direct descendant 
of Oliver Cromwell through his son Henry. 

The improving policy of the fifth laird 
has been continued by Alexander George 
Burnett, the present proprietor, with ex- 
cellent results. 

The old mansion house of Kemnay, which 
was built by the Auchinlecks or Douglases, 
stood a little to the south-east of the 
present house, which was erected by Sir 
Thomas Crombie. It has been much 
altered in style and appearance through 
extensive alterations and additions. 


I. O. ; E. N. ; W. 0.; 
I. O. ; M. O. ; A. 0.; 
1690 G. L. 

We are of opinion that the above inscrip- 
tion is to the members of a family named 
Orem, whose descendants were for a length- 
ened period tenant farmers in the parish. 

In 1696, James Orem was tenant of 
" Auquthies," and, polling as a gentleman, 



paid £3 6s of tax. (Poll Book.) This was 
anciently a Templar croft, and, in 1611, 
Lord Torpichen, chief of the ancient order 
in Scotland, granted a charter of it, and of 
a tenement in Aberdeen, belonging to the 
same order, to Gilbert Keith of Auquhorsk, 
who, in 1578-79, had married Janet, 
daughter of Alexander Burnett of Leys. 

A small headstone bears the inscription- 
Here lyes interred the body of Francis Abel, 
senr., who resided sometime in Racharral. He 
died 20th Deer., 1759, aged 57 years. 

Francis Abel was probably a son of 
William Abel, tenant in Racharral in 1696. 
(Poll Book.) 

A headstone is inscribed — 

In memory of Barbara Malcolm, who was 
married to George Stevenson, shoemaker in 
Dalmadilly, on the 24th December, 1797, in ihe 
15th year of her age, and who died the 26th 
of May, 1824, being the mother of 14 children, 
six of whom died in infancy. Also the said 
George Stevenson, who died 21st August, 1846, 
aged 73 years. 

In ancient writs Dalmadilly is frequently 
called Dam of Dilie. 

A tablestone bears the inscription — 

This stone was erected by me, Alexander 
Farquhar, in Auquhorthy, in memory of Mar- 
jory Duncan, my mother, who died on the 10th 
day of December, 1774, aged 88 years. Also of 
John and Christian Farquhar, my children, who 
died in infancy. Here is also interred the body 
of the said Alexander Farquhar, husband to 
Christian Shewan when he lived. He was born 
on the 20th June, 1714, and died the 5th July, 
1777, much and justly regretted by all who 
knew him. 

A headstone is inscribed — 

In memory of Andrew Stevenson, Esq., Kem- 
nay Academy, who died 19th June, 1857, aged 
63 years. 

Erected by a few of his friends as a mark of 

Andrew Stevenson attained fame as a 
teacher, and the academy, which he allied 

with his school, substantially increased the 
number of his pupils. In 1851 a Com- 
mittee of Presbytery, after examination, 
reported that 119 were on the roll, that a 
solid basis was laid for all the branches 
of a useful education, and that in many 
of these branches a proficiency was at- 
tained which was not surpassed in any 
parochial seminary. A complimentary 
notice of Mr Stevenson and his academy 
appeared in "Chambers's Journal," No. 

Among other teachers who preceded 
Stevenson may be named James Ruther- 
ford, who died in 1663 ; James Rennie, 
who died before 1684, when his widow, 
Janet Paip, had her child, house, and 
goods destroyed by fire ; William Johnston, 
who, in 1698, became minister of Auchin- 
doir and Kearn ; John Farquhar, and 
Charles Dawson, the publisher of ' ' Don ' ' 
— a poem. 

The following inscription upon a head- 
stone to the left of the entrance walk 
arrests attention, and impels the reader 
to tackle the problem how the husband 
could have died twenty, and the wife 
twenty-two years before they were born ! — 

1875. Erected in memory of William Cassie, 
Kemnay: Born 4/7/95= Died 11/12/75. Also 
Elizabeth Massie, his wife: Born 6/10/94. 
Died 14/1/72. . . . 

The form is exceptional, and its adop- 
tion cannot be recommended. Cassie was 
born in 1795, and his wife in 1794 — the 
former dying in 1875, and the latter in 

A tablestone near the church door bears 
the inscription — 

In memory of John Moir, eldest son to 
James Moir and Margarte Irvine, and hus- 
band to Katherene Anderson. 

When he lived, by his good behaviour and 
integrity of heart, gained the esteem of all 
those who knew him, which makes his death 
justly regreated. He depearted this life the 
24th of Octr., 1771, aged 37 years. 



The surnames Moir and Downie are 
probably the oldest in the parish. To 
members of the latter family there are 
many tombstones, but space precludes our 
giving the inscriptions. 

The following headstone inscription is 
interesting, through shewing the old style 
of spelling the surname Wyness. 

In memory of the deceased Alexander Wine- 
house, Gardner at Kemnay for 44 years; he 
departed this life 17th July, 1825, aged 80 years. 
Also ELspet Watt, his spouse, who died 22nd 
February, 1827, aged 77 years. 

Lettering around the outer edge of the 
stone bears that it was erected by their 
children Ann, George, Alexander, and 
Christian, " as a memorial of their affec- 

The above George Winehouse graduated 
at Marischal College and University, 
became schoolmaster of Kincardine (Ross), 
then of Newhills, and was eventually 
elected minister of Clova, Auchterhouse. 
(Records Marischal College, II., p. 382.) 

In illustration of the shortening of sur- 
names, we find that that of Ellis, or Ellice, 
was originally in many instances Ailhouse. 
A railed-in grave, near the church door, 
has a tablestone inscribed- 
Here lyes Iohn Smith, who lived at Upper 
Mill of Kintore, and departed this life April 
ye 4th, 1748, aged 66. Also Jean Smith, his 
lawfull daughter, who departed this life anno 
1754, aged 28. 

Also Elspet Low, spouse to John Smith, who 
died the 30 of November, 1768, aged 83 years. 
Here lyea Isobell Smith, lawful daughter to 
John Smith and Ann Reid, Bog Mill, who 
died Jun the 4, 1773, aged 16. 

A headstone in the same enclosure 
records the death of James Smith, farmer, 
Sunnyside, Kemnay, on 25th November, 
1897, aged 84, and of his wife, Jane 
Gordon, on 17th March, 1892, aged 68. 

Another stone bears — 

Erected by James Stevenson, in memory of 

his father, William Stevenson, merchant, Kem- 
nay, who died 31st March. 1853, aged 31 years. 
Also of his mother, Rachel Annand, who died 
10th April, 1902, aged 76 years. 

William Stevenson was one of the first 
merchants to settle in the village of Kem- 

An enclosed grave near the church door 
has a tablestone bearing the inscription — 

Here lies the Body of Thos. More, who was 
born in Craigearn, where he lived most of his 
time, and where he was a tenant when he 
died. He departed this life 22nd*Febr., 1795, 
in the 64th year of his age. Also a daughter, 
Agnes, in the 3rd year of her age. Also Mar- 
garet Adam, his 6pouse, who died the 20th 
Janry., 1818, aged 78 years. 

Several centuries ago, a hamlet stood at 
Craigearn, where also, it is believed, was 
the old chapel of St Bride, in which the 
minister of Kemnay occasionally officiated 
as late as 1667. The chapel is supposed to 
have been erected by the Douglas family, 
whose favourite was St Bride. 

The following inscription, from a large 
tablestone, records the death of a cen- 
tenarian — 

Sacred to the memory of Christian Moir, 
spouse to Peter Hatt, late Gardener at Castle 
Fraser, who died 2nd of July, 1805, aged 80 
years. Also the said Peter Hatt, who died 
11th of March, 1816, aged 102 years. 

A wall headstone bears the following 
inscription — 

In affectionate remembrance of the Rev. 
George Proctor, M.A., for 33 years School- 
master of Kemnay, who died 20th October, 1898, 
aged 68 years. 

" I am the resurrection and the life." 

Mr Proctor was an excellent teacher, 
and was greatly respected. He acted for 
many years as parish registrar and session- 
clerk of the Parish Church. 

A mural tablet is inscribed — 
In memory of Frances, youngest daughter of 
Rev. John Dymock. Born 22 July, 1881, fell 



asleep 30 Oct., 1888. Rev. John Dymock, M.A.. 
for thirty years minister of the Free Church, 
Kemnay, died Feb. 4, 1899, aged 58 years. 

" I am the good shepherd, and know my 
sheep, and am known of mine." 

Rev. John Dymock was eldest son of 
Rev. Thomas Dymock, Free Middle 
Church, Perth, and brother of Rev. 
William Dymock, Free Church, New 
Aberdour. He was much esteemed by his 
congregation, and throughout the district. 
He took a prominent stand against the 
C. D. Act and the Indian opium traffic. 
Against the former he wrote extensively. 
His son, Arthur, M.A., is an officer in the 
Royal Artillery. 

A granite headstone is inscribed — 

Erected in memory of Jeannie Gellan, widow 
of James Laing, who died at Sunny-Brae, Kem- 
nay. 5th May. 1878, aged 92 years. 

It maiters-na whaure we lie 
doon if we sleep in the hope 
of a glorious risin. 

Jeannie, who was of a kind and obliging 
disposition, was a favourite in the district. 
The words of the concluding sentence of 
the above epitaph were the last she 
uttered. She forms the subject of a poem 
of 26 stanzas, entitled " Auld Jeannie's 
Deathbed," by W.C., well known in 
Aberdeen for his poetical attainments, 
who also generously defrayed the cost of 
the tombstone. 

Another somewhat enigmatical inscrip- 
tion is given on a tombstone on the op- 
posite side of the entrance walk, thus — 

In memory 


Robert, Born 1766 Died 1829 

Margaret, — 1780 - 1852 

Margaret, — 1804 - 1891 

Barbara. — 1806 — 1835 

Eliza, - 1809 - 1865 

Isabella, - 1812 - 1893 

James, — 1813 — 1877 

John, - 1816 — 

Adam, - 1817 - 1839 

Family of Robert Stevenson, 


The two first-named were the parents, 
and the remaining seven their children. 

A wall monument bears — 

In memory of John Milne, Crofter, Glen- 
head, Kemnay. Died 1st Feby., 1889, aged 
55 years. 

A man of sterling worth, unbending will, 
and genuine Christian character, who, at a 
critical period in his life, did noble service 
to the cause of justice and freedom. 

" Eph. 1. 6. To the praise of the glory of 
his grace." 

Erected by his widow and friends. 

The above epitaph has reference to Mr 
Milne's protracted fight for the continu- 
ance of the tenancy of his croft. He 
accomplished much in the way of ven- 
tilating the grievances of the crofter. 

Erected by Andrew Gardiner in memory of 
his father William Gardiner, who died m 
Craigearn of Kemnay, 11th March, 1826, aged 
87 years. And his wife, Mary Watt, who 
died 24th Jany., 1856, aged 61 years. Also 
his sons, John and George, who died in in- 

The years rolls round and steals away 
The breath that first it gave, 
Whate'er we do, whate'er we be, 
We'er traveling to the grave. 

The village of Kemnay is surrounded by 
trees, and has a picturesque situation on 
the right bank of the Don. Down to 1858 
it was considered " a paltry hamlet," but 
the construction of the Alford Valley Rail- 
way and the opening of extensive quarries 
in the near vicinity brought it fresh and 
solid prosperity. It is now considered one 
of the finest and most prosperous villages 
in the county. The old buildings have 
been swept away and replaced by sub- 
stantial, prettily-designed cottages and 
villas, arranged according to a care- 
fully-prepared feuing plan. 

Of antiquities, the Lang Stane o' Craig- 



earn forms the subject of an interesting 
ballad by Mr William Caclenhead. It 
is a monolith standing on end nearly 
twelve feet above the ground. It has no 
inscription or markings, and had probably 
been carried to its present position in the 
glacial period. 

Bruce's cave, howe, and camp are still 
pointed out, and traditional accounts sur- 
vive of that monarch's exploits thereat. 

Stone axes, flint arrow heads, cists, and 
urns have at various times been unearthed, 
but all were of the sort usually met with 
in the county. 

The parish has borne a variety of titles, 
including Tulch, Tulich, Tulluch, Tully- 
unch, and Touch, but for a considerable 
period it has been called Tough. Nu- 
merous meanings of the name have been 
assigned, but the most appropriate seems 
to be " a knoll," from Tulach. (Macdonald's 
•' Place Names of West Aberdeenshire," p. 

The church was dedicated to the Nine 
Maidens, who were daughters of St Donald 
— a Scot who lived among the Picts in the 
Glen of Ogilvy. The tradition is that 
these ladies were deeply religious, that 
they lived in a sort of hermitage, that 
they tilled the adjoining ground with 
their own hands, and but once a day par- 
took of food, which consisted of barley 
bread and water. (Antiq. I., p. 595.) 

The church was rated at four merks in 
the Taxation of 1366. 

The present edifice was erected in 1838, 
and has a gallery on three sides. It is 
commodious, and in excellent order. 

About 1700 David Wilson of Finzeauch, 
presented a bell to the church, but in 1734 
the parishioners subscribed for a new one, 

on the understanding that " they were to 
have the use of it (without paying any- 
thing to the officer), for themselves and 
their posterity at their several funerals, 
ay and so long as the said bell should last. 
." An arrangement was made with 
John Mowat, bell founder, Old Aberdeen, 
under which he supplied one of the old 
music bells of King's College — Wilson's 
"bell and the bad money in the box" 
being taken in part payment. (Session 


Of sixteen parsons who have held the 
parish pastorate since the Reformation, 
ten made it a stepping-stone to promotion 
and translation — 

1585 — Rev. John Strathauchin, to Alford. 
1607 — Rev. James Irvine, to Monymusk. 

(He was a cadet of the family of Drum, 
and married Helen Strachan.) 
160. —Rev. James Johnston, to Monymusk. 
1617 — Rev. James Irvine, to Arbirlot. 
1640 — Rev. William Forbes, to Innerwick. 
1651 — Rev. Thomas Forbes, M.A., to Keig. 
1654 — Rev. David Swan, resigned. 
1662 — Rev. James Gordon, M.A., to 

1704 — Rev. William Leslie, M.A., resigned. 

(According to Leslie's " Family of 
Leslie," he was the third son of Patrick 
Leslie, eighth laird of Kincraigie, and 
" was deposed for beating some merchants 
at Barthol Fair at Kincardine," " for 
maltreating his servant," and also "be- 
cause his wife sold cloth at the fair.") 
1844 — Rev. James Gillan, M.A., to Alford. 

Of the remaining six, at least three are 
commemorated by tombstone inscriptions. 

A tablestone near the east wall bears — 

Sacred to the memory of the Rev. Patrick 
Thomson, who was, during 45 years, a faithful 
and diligent Minister of this Parish. He died 
Feb. 7th, 1792, aged 84. 



The foregoing particulars differ some- 
what from those given by Dr Scott. Mr 
Thomson was ordained 15th January, 
1747, and thirteen years later had to' 
face a serious schism in his congregation. 
This, Rev. Dr Davidson says (Old Aber- 
deenshire Ministers, pp. 81-2), took its 
origin in popular discontent, not with the 
minister, but with the precentor. The 
tunes used in the singing had been 
limited to seven, but one Sunday the 
precentor had the audacity to introduce 
an eighth one! Upon this a portion of 
the congregation left the church, and, be- 
taking themselves to a neighbouring knoll, 
sang in the old orthodox form. These 
dissentients formed the nucleus of the 
Lynturk Seceder congregation, whose first 
standard may be designated the Seven 
Times. Mr Thomson, in 1749, married 
Helen, daughter of John Copland of Tilly- 
four, and they had a family of two sons, 
and at least three daughters. Of the 
sons, James entered the Government 
service, while John graduated M.D., and 
also qualified for the ministry, securing 
the pastorate of Footdee, Aberdeen. A 
daughter, Helen, married Alexander 
Urquhart, the succeeding minister of 

A tablestone near the church wall bears 
the undernoted inscription — 

Underneath are deposited the remains of 
David Urquhart, late Farmer in Kinstair of 
Alford, who died 13th Oct., 1789, aged 57 years. 
Also the remains of Mrs Helen Thomson, spouse 
of The Rev. Alexander Urquhart, Minister of 
this Parish. She departed this life 4th July, 
1810, in the 49th year of her age, deeply 
lamented by her affectionate husband and her 
weeping children. Their eldest son, Robert 
Urquhart, A.M., Preacher of the Gospel and 
Medical Practitioner, who died at Keith on 22nd 
Novr., 1828, in his 36th year, is also interred 
here. In both professions he was distinguished ; 
and an extensive circle of relatives and sincere 
friends lament the premature bereavement 

which his wife and numerous family have 

Here also are deposited the remains of The 
Rev. Alexander Urquhart, who after having 
ministered in holy things 42 years in this Parish, 
was removed by death, on the 8th Feby., 1832. 
aged 72 years. 

Rev. Alexander Urquhart, M.A., son of 
David Urquhart, farmer, Kincraigie, there- 
after in Kinstair, and of his wife, Jean, 
daughter of John Harvey, schoolmaster, 
Miduiar, was ordained assistant and suc- 
cessor to Tough, on 17th December, 1789. 
He mairied, first, Helen Thomson, 
daughter of his predecessor, Rev. Patrick 
Thomson, and, besides the son named in 
the inscription, had a son, Patrick, who 
graduated at Marischal College ; a 
daughter, Anne, who became the wife of 
William Scott of Campfield ; and a second 
daughter, Helen, who married Baillie 
Harper, of Aberdeen, and died in 1859. 
In 1826 he married, secondly, Margaret 
Forbes, daughter of George Forbes, 
coppersmith, Aberdeen, and their only 
daughter, Margaret Jane, became the 
second wife of William Littlejohn, who 
for more than forty years was manager 
of the Aberdeen Town and County Bank- 
ing Company. She died 28th April, 1897, 
in her 68th year. These particulars differ 
considerably from those given by Dr Scott 

A granite cross on a railed-in grave is 
inscribed — 

In Memoriam. — Eliza Watt, wife of The Rev. 
Al. Milne, died at Manse of Tough on the 
7th Augt., 1883, aged 69. Rev. Alexander 
Milne, M.A., for 56 years Minister of this 
Perish, died at Manse of Tough on the 15th 
March, 1900, aged 83. 

"In Thy presence is fulness of joy. At Thy 
right hand there are pleasures for evermore." 

Within the church is a marble tablet 
which bears — 

In memory of The Rev. Alexander Milne, 
M.A., for 56 years Minister of this Parish. 



Born 5th Oct., 1816, at Mains of Druminnor, 
Auchimloir. Died 15th March, 1900, at Manse of 
Tough. This tablet is erected by his Parish- 
ioners and friends. 

" His servants shall serve him. And they 
shall see his face." — Rev. xxii. 3-4. 

Mr Milne was greatly attached to his 
parish and people, and the erection of the 
above tablet manifests the esteem in which 
he was held in the district. In 1894, upon 
celebrating his jubilee, be presented to 
the church, for use at the communion 
service, two silver cups and a silver flagon 
with the inscription — 

Presented to the Church of Tough by Rev. 
Alexander Milne, M.A., on the celebration of 
his jubilee as Minister of the parish. 12th 
September, 1894. 

Mr Milne was thoroughly conversant 
with the ancient history of the district, 
and many of these notes are extracted 
from his MSS., written about thirty years 

Ecclesiastically, the parish was united 
to Keig in 1814, but was disunited in 
February, 1834. 


Upon a small upright stone — within the 
Cairnballoch railed-in space, afterwards re- 
ferred to — is the inscription — 

Her lys Danel Mackomy, who departed ihis 
lif, in the Mains of Tonley, July, 1714. 

The above Danel Mackomy is said to 
have been a son of " M'Comie-More " — so 
called from his great size and strength — 
who died at Crandart in 1676. The family 
had been long resident in Glenisla and 
district, being known in the sixteenth 
century as the Clan M 'Thomas and 
M'Intoeh. Danel Mackomy is believed to 
have settled in the Vale of Alford about 
1680. He married Janet Shires, anil, 
according to the Poll Book, was tenant, in 
1696, of Edindurnoch. He afterwards re- 
moved to Mains of Toidey, where he died 

in 1714. He was ancestor of the late 
William M'Combie, M.P., of Tillyfour; of 
William M'Combie of Easter Skene, and 
others of the M'Combies after stated. 

An enclosure has a tablestone as well as 
a headstone. The former is inscribed — 

In memory of William M'Combie, Farmer in 
Mains of Lynturk, who departed this life 28th 
January, 1808, in the 88th year of his age. Also 
his spouse, Marjory Wishart, who died 28th 
January, 1792, and likewise their children John, 
George, James, Margaret, and Christian. And 
also of Peter M'Combie, Lynturk, their son. 
who died on 4th January, 1833, aged 66. 

The latter bears — 

In memory of Peter M'Combie, of Lynturk ; 
who died 4th January, 1833, aged 66, and his 
wife, Elizabeth Murray, daughter of The Rev. 
Andrew Murray, Secession Minister in this 
Parish, who died 20th December, 1864, aged 72. 

Erected by William M'Combie, of Easter 
Skene and Lynturk, nephew and successor to 
the said Peter M'Combie. 

William M'Combie,' who died in 1808, 
was son of Robert M'Combie ; and his wife, 
Marjory Wishart, was daughter of a 
merchant in Banchory. Their son Peter 
M'Combie, referred to in both inscriptions, 
was for some time in business in Aberdeen. 
He bought the estate of Lynturk, and hav- 
ing no family was succeeded therein by his 
nephew, William M'Combie of Easter 

A tablet in the Parish Church bears— 
In memory of Charles M-Combie, Senior of 
Tillyfour, who died 10th September, 1836, aged 
66. And Ann Black or M'Combie, his wife, who 
died 19th March, 1842, aged 58. Also of their 
eons and daughters following, viz. :— Mary Ann, 
died 26th December, 1822, aged 15. Robert, 
died 12th February, 1823, aged 13. Samuel, 
died 4th May, 1839, aged 14. Peter, died 7th 
Januaiy, 1841, aged 16. May M'Combie cr 
Laing, wife of Rev. J. B. Laing, Woodside, 
died 26th December, 1842, aged 25. Thomas 
M'Combie, some time member of the Legisla- 
tive Assembly and of the Executive Council of 
Victoria, Australia, died 2nd October, 1869, 



aged 50. Rev. Charles M'Combie, LL.D., 
minister of Lumphanan, died 25th August, 
1874, aged 70. 

(The arms of the M'Combie family are shown 
at top, as also the motto — " Touch not the cat 
but a glove.") 

The above Charles M'Combie, senior, was 
the seventh son of William M'Combie of 
Lynturk, while his wife, Ann Black, was 
the daughter of an influential Buchan 
farmer. Mr M'Combie was famous as a 
cattle dealer, his transactions as such being 
on the most extensive scale. To the names 
of the family appearing in the inscription 
may be added William M'Combie, M.P., 
and Mary, who married Patrick Campbell 
Auld, artist, and secondly, Bev. Mr 
Forbes, Oban. 

Within an enclosure at the side of the 
entrance gate are two headstones and two 
crosses with the inscriptions — 

In memory of Isabella Elizabeth Scott, wife 
of the Reverend Charles M'Combie of Tilly- 
four, who died on 28th July, 1838, aged 23. 
Of their daughter, Mary Margaret, who died 
on 16th March, 1839, aged 16 months. Of 
their son, Charles, who died at sea on 22nd 
November, 1857, aged 21. Of Anne Helen, 
eldest daughter of the said Reverend Chailes 
M'Combie, LL.D., and of his wife, Elizabeth 
Lamond, who died on 25th August, 1865, aged 
19. Of their son William Lamond, who died 
on 9th August, 1867, aged 17. And of Elizabeth 
Lamond, wife of Reverend Dr Charles M'Com- 
bie, who died on 13th March, 1868, aged 46. 

Also in memory of the Rev. Charles M'Com- 
bie, LL.D., of Tillyfour, for 48 years Minister 
of Lumphanan, who died on the 25th of August, 
1874, aged 69. And of Helen, daughter of ihe 
said Rev. Charles M'Combie and Elizabeth 
Lamond, his wife, who died 19th June, 1863, 
agod 15. And of their son Harry, who died 
at Torquay, 23rd January, 1871, aged 26. 
And of their son William who died 20th 
February, 1871, aged 22. And of their 
youngest and last surviving son, Thomas, who 

was drowned at Cape Town, Africa, 18th Oct., 
1891, aged 33. 

'"Even so. Father; for so it seemed good in 
Thy sight." 


Sacred to the memory of Margaret Shand 
M'Combie, the beloved wife of Henry D. Adam- 
son, Alford, who died at Paris, 10th May, 
1875, aged 28 years. 

"Rest in the Lord. Wait patiently for Him." 

In memory of Rachel M'Combie, wife of John 
Duthie. Died on 18th December, 1891, at Las 
Animas, Colorado. 

In supplement of the foregoing par- 
ticulars, it may be stated that Rev. Dr 
M'Combie was the eldest son of Charles 
M'Combie of Tillyfour, his first wife being 
a daughter of Bev. Bobert Scott, Glen- 
bucket, while his second was the daughter 
of Hary Lamond of Pitmurchie. Thomas 
M'Combie, the youngest son of this second 
marriage, for about two years prior to his 
accidental death by drowning, successfully 
conducted "The Cape Lantern" news- 
paper. Daughters by the same marriage 
were Mrs Adamson, and Mrs Duthie whose 
husband, a shipbuilder in Aberdeen, died 
at Cults House 8th May, 1906. The sur- 
viving daughter, Isabella, is married to 
Piev. Thomas Young, Ellon. 

On an obelisk in an enclosure is an in- 
scription closing with a couplet from Mrs 
Hemanss "The Graves of a Household" — 

In memory of The Honourable Thomas 
M'Combie, member of the Legislative 
Assembly, and of the Executive Council of 
Melbourne, Victoria. Born 7th February 
1819. Died 2nd October 1869. 

Also his children born and died in Melbourne 
— William, Ann, Australia, Charles, Robert, 
May, and Thomas. 

Their graves are severed far and wide, 
By mount and stream and sea. 

The Hon. Thomas M'Combie was a son of 
Charles M'Corc' ' senior, of Tillyfour, and 
a brother Dr M'Combie. His 



demise at the age of 50 terminated a career 
of much activity and usefulness. 

A railed-in grave has a massive head- 
stone inscribed — 

In memory of William M'Oombie of Tilly- 
four, for several years Member of Parliament 
for West Aberdeenshire, who died 1st February 
1880, aged 74. 

He attained a distinguished position as an 
agriculturist ; and in rearing and improving 
the black polled Aberdeenshire cattle, he 
earned for himself a high and wide-spread 

A white marble tablet in church bears 
exactly the same inscription. 

Mr M'Combie was the second son of 
Charles M'Combie, senior, of Tillyfour. 
While comparatively a young man, he took 
energetically to farming, and became 
tenant of three large holdings — Tillyfour, 
Bridgend, and Dorsell. Devoting special 
attention to the breeding of cattle, he 
attained a world-wide reputation. In 1867 
he published an interesting volume, 
"Cattle and Cattle-Breeders," which sub- 
sequently went through several editions. 
He was honoured by a visit from Her 
Majesty Queen Victoria, who expressed 
admiration of and interest in the magnifi- 
cent herd. In 1868, and again in 1874, he 
was elected M.P. for West Aberdeenshire. 
He resigned in 1876. The year before, 
after his brother Rev. Dr M'Combie's 
death, he bought the estate of Tillyfour, 
making its name famous three years later 
by carrying off the two great Paris 
Exhibition prizes with polled Aberdeen- 
Angus cattle in competition with the best 
breeds of Europe. 

A headstone bears — 

In memory of Alexander M'Combie, Dyer in 
WaUilkmill of Bandley, who died in 1811. eged 
78. And of Janet Gordon, his spouse, who died 
in 1815, aged 85. And of Alexander, their son, 
Dyer in Waulkmill of Bandley, who died 2d 
May 1859, aged 89. 

The above Alexander M'Combie, who 
died in 1811, was a son of Robert M'Combie 
in Findlatrie, and, besides the son Alex- 
ander noted in the inscription, he had a 
daughter, Grizel, who married Alexander 
Garden, Bandley. George Garden, Bandley, 
and Colonel William Garden, H.E.I.C.S., 
were sons of the last-named couple. George 
Garden was the father of the well-known 
and much-respected Dr William Garden in 
Balfluig, Alford, whose son, Farquharson 
Taylor Garden, is an advocate in Aberdeen, 
and treasurer to the New Spalding Club. 

A headstone at a railed-in grave is in- 
scribed — 

Here rest the mortal remains of William 
M'Combie, farmer. Cairnballoch. Alford, who 
died 7th April, 1849, aged 78 ; and of his wife, 
May M'Combie, who died 2nd December, 1837. 
aged 66 ; and of William M'Combie, their only 
son, farmer, Cairnballoch, editor of "Aberdeen 
Free Press," author of "Hours of Thought," 
" Moral Agency," etc., who died 6th May, 1870, 
aged 61. Also of his sons Joseph, who died 7th 
March, 1870, aged 24. and Charles, who died 
29th August, 1872, aged 24. His daughter 
May, who died 24th April, 1874, aged 33 ; and 
his wife, Anne Robertson, who died 28th 
February, 1887, aged 78. 

The last-named William M'Combie pos- 
sessed remarkable literary ability. In 
addition to the works enumerated, he pub- 
lished "Unity and Schism," " Life and 
Remains of Alexander Bethune," " Capital 
and Labour," "Essays on Education," 
"Modem Civilisation," "The Irish Land 
Question," etc. His wife, Anne Robertson, 
was the only daughter of Joseph Robert- 
son, merchant in Aberdeen, and sister of 
Joseph Robertson, LL.D., the well-known 
antiquary, who, from 1853 till his death 
in 1866, was curator of the Historical 
Department of H.M. Register House. 

A headstone is inscribed — 

Erected by Charles M'Combie, farmer in 
Tillychetlv, in memory of his aunt, Elizabeth 



Urquhart, who died 16th March, 1840, aged 74. 
And of the said Charles M'Combie, who died 
21st February, 1876, aged 74. And of his wife, 
Elizabeth Matthews, who died 19th January, 
1886. aged 78. 


The lands of Kincraigie at an early 
period belonged to the Huntly family, and 
are believed to have been bestowed by 
Alexander, Earl of Huntly, upon Sir 
William Leslie of Balquhain for his 
services at the battle of Brechin on 18th 
May, 14-32. Leslie acted as a captain in 
the engagement which was fought between 
Huntly and the Earl of Crawford. (Mac- 
farlane's " Genealogical Collections," II., 
p. 5.) On the death of Sir William Leslie, 
his son, Sir Alexander, succeeded. From 
the latter, Kincraigie was bought, in 1470, 
by his immediate younger brother, 
William, who is recognised as the first of 
the Kincraigie Leslies. The lands re- 
mained with the family till after the 
death of George Leslie, the ninth laird 
He was served heir to his father on 2nd 
November, 1705 (Retours), and practised 
as an advocate in Edinburgh. He was 
twice married. John, the only son by the 
first marriage, became an Episcopal 
minister, and secured a charge in the 
north of Ireland. On his father's death, 
he returned to Aberdeenshire to claim the 
lands, but found that they and all his 
father's means had been bequeathed to 
the widow, who was a daughter of Bailie 
Brand, Edinburgh. After much negotia- 
tion, he compromised his claim for £5000, 
and with this amount returned to Ireland 
and bought a property, to which he gave 
the name of Kincraigie. (Leslie's ''Family 
of Leslie.") 

Shortly after, the lands of Kincraigie, 
Tough, were bought by Alexander Auchin- 
dachy or Auchinachie. Alluding to this, 
and to the loss of the estate to the Leslies 

after having been in their hands for up- 
wards of two centuries, a manuscript 
quoted in the Leslie family history de- 
scribes Auchindachy as ''a person risen 
from the very dunghill, being of very 
mean, not to say worse, parents. After 
he had been a servant to one Jamieson, 
a Popish priest, he fell in about the Earl 
of Dunfermling's house, and after the said 
Earl's death at St Germains, he became 
so intimate with the Countess of Dun- 
fermling that she not only made him her 
chamberlain while she lived, but made 
over all her effects to him after her death. 
He is now a man of great substance 
. . ." He was succeeded by his only 
son, George, who passed as an advocate, 
but from his hearing having become im- 
paired, he was more frequently designated 
c ' The wind laird." 

In December, 1786, Kincraigie was pur- 
chased by James Byres of Tonley, and 
united by him to the estate of Tonley. 


The lands and barony of Tonley be- 
longed, in the 17th century, to the 
Farquhar family. In 1633, the proprietor 
was Alexander Farquhar, and his son 
Patrick, in that year, acquired the estate 
of Mounie. In 1668, Alexander and 
Patrick Farquhar were returned as owners 
of Tonley, while in 1696 Alexander Far- 
quhar of Mounie is named as heritor. In 
1701-2 all the property of the last-named 
was sequestrated for debt (Davidson's 
"Inverurie," etc., p. 231), and the lands 
of Tonley were then acquired by Alexander 
Hay of Arnbath, who married Christian, 
daughter of Alexander Abernethy of 
Mayen. Unfortunately, he took part in 
the Rebellion of 1715, and suffered for- 
feiture in consequence. 

Within the next few years, Tonley was 
bought by the widow and trustees of 



Robert Byres, formerly merchant in 
Dublin, and a descendant of Byres of 
Coates, Edinburgh. The purchase was 
made on behalf of Patrick Byres, eldest 
son of Robert Byres. He was then in 
minority, but in 1733 ho married Janet, 
daughter of James Moir, M.P., of Stoney- 
wood. He was known as ''the Jacobite 
Laird," and, notwithstanding the misfor- 
tune of his predecessor, he joined the 
rising of the "'45," acting as a major in 
Stoneywood's Regiment. He fought at 
Culloden, and subsequently, for a time, 
found shelter in Cluny Castle, ultimately 
escaping to France. He was excepted 
from the first pardon, and would have lost 
the estate but for the timely intervention 
of his friends, who denied his identity 
with the rebel, " Peter Byres," as sche- 
duled. He had a family of four sons and 
three daughters. James, the eldest son, 
succeeded, and during his proprietorship 
the estate of Tonley was greatly extended 
by the purchase and addition to it of the 
adjoining property of Kincraigie, as 
already stated. Robert, the second son, 
possessed property in Martinique, where 
lie died in 1799. 

James Byres, second, of Tonley, accom- 
panied his father to France after Cul- 
loden. He was a distinguished archaeo- 
logist, and the original (British) possessor 
of the Portland Vase. For many years 
he lived in Italy, and is referred to by 
Horace Walpole as " The Pope's Antiquary 
in Rome." He it was who first introduced 
Gibbon, the historian, to the antiquities 
of Rome, before the latter began " The 
Decline and Pall." (See Diet. National 

In the Parish Church, opposite the 
pulpit, and underneath the gallery, is a 
white marble tablet of very fine sculpture, 
having an urn in relief at the top, figures 
resembling those on the Tuscan Vase, and 
a medallion of Patrick Bvres and his wife, 

Janet Moir. It was erected to the memory 
of William Byre-s, their third son, who 
served in the Navy, and field the appoint- 
ment of one of the King's surveyors. He 
died in the island of St Vincent in June, 
1765, at the early age of 23. The fourth 
son, John, was a captain in the H.E.I.C.S., 
and married a daughter of Dr James 
Donaldson of Auchmull. 

Four of the succeeding proprietors have 
their names upon three crosses erected in a 
reserved space in the parish graveyard 
thus — 


Sacred to the memory of Patrick Byres, of 
Tonley, Lieut. -General in the service of the 
Hon. E. I. Company, who died on the 1st of 
Feb., 1854, aged 76 years; and Margaret Bvres, 
his wife, who died April 28th, 1890. 

Patrick Moir-Byres of Tonley. Born August 
4th, 1813; died January 15, 1891. "He ever 
liveth to make intercession." And Maria, his 
wife, who died December 16, 1900, aged 86. 

In loving remembrance of James Gregory 
Moir-Byres, of Tonley, who died on the 6th of 
November, 1881, aged 77 years. Also of Patrick 
Moir Byres, of Tonley, who died on the 4th of 
June, 1863, aged 61 years. 

Lieut-General Patrick Byres was the 
eldest surviving son of Robert Byres of 
Memel, and succeeded to the estate of 
Tonley on the death of his uncle, James 
Byres, in 1817. His first marriage was 
with Jessie, daughter of Lieut. -Colonel 
Denny ; and their only son, James, lieu- 
tenant in the 1st Royals, was accidentally 
drowned at Athlone. His second marriage 
was with Margaret, eldest daughter of 
Lieut. -Colonel Joseph Burnett of Gadgirth. 
This lady, as shown by the inscription, 
survived her husband for upwards of 36 

The succeeding proprietor was Patrick 
Moir, eldest son of Katherine Byres, 
cousin-gorman to Lieut. -General Byres, 





and to her husband, John Moir, of St 
Catherine's, the celebrated local painter. 
He assumed the additional surname of 
Byres, and died, unmarried, 4th Juno, 
1863. (Ins. 3.) 

James Gregory Moir-Byres, immediate 
younger brother of the preceding, suc- 
ceeded. He married Mary (she died 27th 
September, 1906, aged 77), daughter of 
Henry Prideaux Hensleigh, surgeon, Lon- 
don, and they had a daughter, Patricia 
Byres Moir-Byres, who became the wife of 
Captain Harry Vesey Brooke, formerly of 
the Gordon Highlanders. Mr Moir-Byres 
bought the estate of Fairley, which, at his 
death (Ins. 3), passed to his daughter, Mrs 

Tonley then passed to George Moir- 
Byres, the next younger brother. He 
married Alleyne, daughter of Thomas 
Houghton Fields, of Colby, and their 
family consisted of three daughters — 
Alleyne Catherine Elizabeth, married to 
Napier Macleod Wyllie ; Stuart, married to 
John Byres Leake, of Rocklands, Oak- 
hampton ; and Jean, married to Dr Oswald. 
George Moir-Byres died in Edinburgh on 
8th December, 1889, and was succeeded by 
his cousin, Patrick Moir-Byres (Insc. 2), 
who, in 1838, had married Maria, eldest 
daughter of John White, merchant, 
Quebec. George Moir-Byres, eldest son of 
that marriage, is the present proprietor. 

Mr A. J. Mitchell-Gill of Savoch and 
Auchinroath has published a carefully- 
compiled and exhaustive history of the 
"Houses of Moir and Byres," and from 
it many of these particulars have been 

The mansion house has recently been 
much enlarged. It has an excellent situa- 
tion, with finely-wooded heights rising 
behind it. 


Within the policies of Whitehouse is a 
private burying-ground. It contains two 
monuments, which are inscribed as under — 



In memory of Marjory Stewart, wife of 
Peter Farquharson of Whitehouse, who de- 
parted this life on the 1st April, 1849. 

And of the said Peter Farquharson, who 
survived until the 20th February, 1855. 

This inscription is placed here, as a tribute 
of filial affection and great regard, by their 
son, Andrew Farquharson. 


Sacred to the memory of George Campbell, 
eldest son of Peter Farquharson of White- 
house, who died on the 8th September, 1838, 
to the inexpressible grief of his parents and 
other nearest relatives, by whom his memory 
will be fondly cherished through life with 
sentiments of the tenderest affection. 

Also of Andrew Farquharson of White- 
house. Born 24th August, 1802; died 23rd 
January, 1896. 


In loving remembrance of Jane Stewart Far- 
quharson, eldest daughter of Peter Farquhar- 
son of Whitehouse and Marjory Stewart, who 
departed this life on the 9th December, 1891, 
deeply lamented by her surviving brother, 
Andrew Farquharson, of whom she had been 
the constant and affectionate companion for 
a long period of years. 

Margaret, second daughter of her parents 
above-named, and wife of Lt.-Col. John Far- 
quharson, H. E.C.I. S., of Corrachree, who 
departed this life on the 1st May, 1888, and is 
interredi at Coldetone. 

In loving memory of George Farquharson of 
Whitehouse. second son of G. A. Y. Leslie of 
Kininvie. Died 9th June, 1899, aged 53. 

In the Parish Church are three mural 
tablets in memory of members of the 

Sacred to the memory of May Stewart, only 




daughter of William Stewart of Lesmurdio. 
Banffshire, and wife of Peter Farquharson of 
Whitehouse. who departed this life on the 1st of 
April, 1849 aged 84 yeans. 

This tablet is erected by her surviving hus- 
band and family, in affectionate and grateful 
recollection of her many estimable qualities and 
exemplary conduct as a wife and 1 a mother. 


Sacred to the memory of Peter Farquharson, 
Esqre of Whitehouse, who departed this life on 
the 20th day of February, 1855, in the 90th year 
of his age. 

Throughoiit a long life he maintained a char- 
acter distinguished for unblemished integrity, 
singular disinterestedness, and high moral 
worth, guileless and single-minded to a remark- 
able degree, largely imbued with that charity 
which thinketh no evil, in disposition mild, 
gentle, and amiable, simple and unaffected in 
manners, modest, and unassuming in deport- 
ment, ever ready and desirous to oblige ; by 
the constant practice of these estimable qualities 
he gained a large share of regard and respect, 
at the same time ever retaining an abiding 
sense of the higher and more important d^^tie6 — 
meekness, humility, and forbearance were pro- 
minent features in all his actions. Exemplary 
in every relation of life, his aim always was 
"to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk 
humbly with his God." 

In affectionate remembrance of those en- 
dearing qualities of which they had daily 
experience, and in gratitude for the inherit- 
ance he has bequeathed to them of that " good 
name which is rather to be chosen than great 
riches," this humble tribute to his sterling 
worth is erected by his surviving son and 

A tribute of a brother's love. 
To the memory of George Campbell, eldest 
son of P Farquharson of Whitehouse, who died 
unexpectedly in the prime of life, on the 8th 
day of September, 1838, to the inexpressible 
grief of his parents and sisters and his only 
brother, who received the mournful intelligence 
in a far distant land, and by whom this tablet is 
placed as a lasting memorial of the many ex- 
cellent qualities of the deceased — of his 
exemplary conduct as a son and brother, of 
the sterling and manly worth of his character, 

which combined great firmness of purpose with 
intelligence and strong good sense, unvarying 
sincerity, with plain unaffected demeanour, 
and great kindness of heart. 

Over each of these tablets the arms of 
the Farquharson family are shown, along 
with the motto in Latin, which, trans- 
lated, is "With faith and fortitude." 

In the wall of the vestry a red granite 
tablet has been fixed. It bears the in- 
scription — 

Sacred to the loving memory of Miss Jane 
Stewart Farquharson of Whitehouse, who 
departed this life on the 9th December, 1891. 

This building has been erected by her affec- 
tionate and surviving brother, Andrew Far- 
quharson of Whitehouse. 1892. 

The Farquharsons of Whitehouse are 
descended from the family of that sur- 
name, lairds of Castleton of Braemar, and 
subsequently of Monaltrie. The immedi- 
ate progenitor of this branch was James 
Farquharson, Writer to the Signet, Edin- 
burgh, brother of Colonel Donald Farquhar- 
son of Monaltrie, who was familiarly known 
as Donald Oig. He purchased the lands 
of Whitehouse, in Cromar. He married 
— first, the daughter of an Edinburgh 
lawyer ; and, secondly, Anna Gar dyne, 
daughter of Colonel Thomas Gardyne. 
He died in 1666, and was succeeded by 
his son of the second marriage, Harry 
Farquharson, whose eldest son, Francis 
Farquharson, acquired the lands of Shiels, 
in the parish of Cluuy. Harry Farquhar- 
son, a son of the last-named, married Jean 
Rose of Tillysnaught ; and the only sur- 
viving son of that couple, Harry Farquhar- 
son (he married Barbara, daughter of 
John Gordon of Hallhead), was an officer in 
the regiment of infantry commanded by 
his relative, Colonel Francis Farquharson 
of Monaltrie, and fell at the battle of 
Culloden, in 1746. He had four sons and 
two daughters. The second surviving 
son, William Farquharson, who was an 



eminent physician in Dundee, succeeded. 
He married Margaret, eldest daughter of 
Patrick Souper of Auchlunies. Their son, 
Peter Farquharson, passed advocate in 
Aberdeen, and for a lengthened period 
was the trusted agent for many families. 
He was long trustee upon Invercauld 
estate. The old patrimonial estate in 
Cromar having passed from his family, he 
acquired the lands of Abercattie, in 
Tough, and changed the name to that 
of Whitehouse. The foregoing inscrip- 
tions give particulars regarding him and 
the later proprietors. The older members 
of the family were interred in the church- 
yard of Tullich, and also in the private 
burying-ground at Breda. 

The mansion house stands at a high 
elevation on the western slope of Green 
Hill, and commands an excellent view of 
the fertile vale. The grounds and estate 
are well wooded. 


A railed-in grave has a tablestone show- 
ing an angel at the top and a scroll at the 
foot. The inscription is — 

Here lies interrd Eliz. Law, spouse to Alexr 
Ritchie, tenant in Fermtown of Balfluige. She 
died July 5th, 1774, aged 53. Likewise la 
Ritchie, who was tenant in Fermtown. De- 
parted this life Iune 4, 1734. Also Elspet 
Adam, his spouse. Departed this life, Ianr. 5, 
1745. Likewise the said Alexr. Ritchie, who 
was tenant in Fermtown of Balfluige, who 
died Agust 12th, 1787, aged 75. Also his son, 
Alexr. Ritchie, who died at Dykehead, the 
19th Augt., 1817, aged 70. 

Ritchies were for many years farmers at 
Farmtown. Isobel Ritchie, a daughter of 
the above Ja Ritchie, married Robert 
M'Combie, tenant of Findlatrie, and son 
of Donald M'Combie, the first of that name 
to settle in the Vale of Alforcl. 

These five are tablestone inscriptions — 


Here lies Mary Urquhart, who died in the 
66 year of her age, and was 44 of them mar- 
ried wife to John Farquhar, late farmer in 
Abercatie. Also 3 of their sons, Wm., at her 
right side, aged 39 ; George, on her left side, 
aged 36 ; and Joseph, at her feet, aged 24. 

J. F., her husband, caused this stone to be 
erected in memory of his family, August, 1787. 

The above John Farquhar died 1790, aged 
77. Samuel Farquhar, their son, Farmer in 
Higbogs, one of the elders of this parish, died 
9th Dec., 1808, aged 68, and is also here 


In memory of The Revd. Andrew Murray, 
who was minister of the Associate Congrega- 
tion of Tough for the space of 36 years, and 
died the 9th of July, 1816, aged 71, and his 
sons— William, aged 22, and Robert, aged 7, 
as also his datr., Margaret, who died in in- 
fancy. And of his spouse, Mrs Jane Murray, 
who died on 14th Febry., 1833, aged 76. Also 
in memory of John Murray, Ardgowse, Tough, 
who died 10th July, 1859, aged 72 years. 

Also his daughter Jane, who died 11th Jan., 
1835, aged 15 years; and Andrew, who died 
4th Feb., 1835, aged 11 years; and Hannah, 
who died Feb. 11th, 1835, aged 9 years. Also 
Ann Walker, his wife, who died Feby. 10th. 
1869, aged 77 years. 


This stone is erected to the memory of 
William Farquharson who lived in Little Miln 
of Tough; he departed this life the 21th of 
April, 1762, aged 70 years. By Margaret Cob- 
had, his relict, who died Feby. 13, 1778, aged 
71 years. Also Margaret Farquharson, spouse 
to Alexr. Murray, in Mains of Tonley, who 
died 13th Deer., 1794, aged 57 years. Also the 
said Alexander Murray, who died 10th 
August, 1804, aged 69. 

Here lies William Anderson, some tinui 
farmer in Upperhaugh of Alf ord ; died 
March, 1746, aged 75; also Margaret Emslie, 
his spouse, died in 1717, and three sons— John, 
sometime farmer in Milltown of Bandlay, 
who died June, 1732, aged 45. Alexr., died 
Sept., 1738, aged 53, and Joseph, died Jany, 




1765, aged 56, both succeeded their father in 
Upperhaugh. . . . 

Here lyes in hops of a blessed resurrection, 
Margret Elsmy, who was 12 years lawful wife 
to George Miln, sometime in Dendurn. She 
dep' this life 20 of March, 1748, aged 34 years 
and 10 months, leaving behind her 3 children— 
Marget, Mary, and Willm Milne. . . . 

Granite obelisks commemorate these— 

To the memory of Revd. Alexander Ingram, 
for 56 years the much reepected schoolmaster 
of this parish, who died 7th December, 1859, 
aged 74. 

Erected by his pupils. 

In memory of Adam Garden, M.A., 14 years 
schoolmaster in this Parish, who died 8th Nov., 
1884, aged 37 years. 

Erected by his pupils and friends. 

The parish has had many eminent 
teachers, among whom may be cited James 
Man, about 1722, the critic of Ruddiman, 
and collector of material for an edition of 
Dr Arthur Johnston's Poems, as also a 
history of the Church of Scotland ; 
in 1774 Rev. Benjamin Mercer, after- 
wards minister of Forbes and Kearn, 
and subsequently of Kildrummy ; in 1854 
James M'Lachlan, assistant to Mr Ingram, 
more recently minister of Inveraven ; in 
1860 John Craig Smith, thereafter minister 
of Kintore ; and in 1869 James Moir, 
afterwards LL.D., and Rector, Grammar 
School, Aberdeen. 

A headstone is inscribed — 

In memory of The Reverend John Robb, 
minister of the United Presbyterian Church, 
Tough, ordained March 17, 1819. Died Nov. 29, 
1853, aged 67 years. 


On the hill above Whitx'house is a large 
stone of about twelve feet in height, which 

bears the title of " Luath's Stone." The 
tradition is that a son of Macbeth fell here 
while flying from Lumphanan, where his 
father was slain. Rhynie, however, claims 
the same honour. 

A large stone circle is known as " The 
Auld Kirk of Tough," which implies that 
at one time it had been used for religious 

At various times stone axes, arrow- 
heads, and other ancient implements have 
been unearthed ; as also was the complete 
skeleton of a man in armour, who is sup- 
posed to have met his death while flying 
from the battle of Alford. 

Interesting notes on the parish antiqui- 
ties are given in the New Statistical 
Account, and also in the Proceedings of 
the Society of Antiquaries, Scotland, 
Vol. IV. 


The name Tyrie is believed to be of 
Gaelic origin, and to signify "the King's 
house." This theory is strengthened by 
the tradition that in ancient times a 
petty Pictish King had his residence within 
the parish. 

The church of Tyrie was dedicated to St 
Andrew, the Apostle (Antiq., I., p. 449), 
and, prior to the Reformation, belonged to 
the Abbey of Arbroath. It is rated at 6 
merks in the old taxation. 

In descriptions of the parish written in 
1721 and 1723 (Antiq., I., p. 449) the kirk 
' ' is said to be one of the oldest in this 
diocie " ; its walls were "built with run 
lime ' ' before John Knox was born — it was 
" formerly well known by the name of 
'The White Kirk of Buchan ' " : the 
Queen Dowager of James I. gave out a 
pilgrimage intended by her to The White 
Kirk in Buchan, but "this shrine could 
scarcely have been in the parish church of 



Tyrie," which was known to be " dedicated 
to Saint Andrew," while the Queen's pil- 
grimage " was to a chapel of the Blessed 
Virgin." It has been suggested that at 
that time a special altar to the Blessed 
Virgin may have been at Tyrie, which 
would remove the difficulty. (M'Leod's 
Churches of Buchan, pp. 119 and 120.) 


For a period between 1527 and 1536 
Hector Boece, the first Principal of King's 
College, Aberdeen, also held the rectorship 
of Tyrie. At that time there was pre- 
served in the church a specimen of the 
barnacle log, which may have formed the 
text for the disquisition on the develop- 
ment of the barnacle goose to which we 
are treated in Boece' s wonderful History 
of Scotland. He probably died in 1536, as, 
upon 27th November of that year, he was 
succeeded in the incumbency at Tyrie by 
John Garden, who had a Crown presenta- 
tion, wherein it was stated that the 
vacancy had arisen through Boece' s death. 

In 1553, Alexander Anderson held the 
combined offices of Principal of King's 
College, parson of Tyrie, and rector of 
Kinkell, all of which he seems to have 
retained down to 1569, when, owing to 
the Reformation upheaval, he was de- 
posed (Orem). He has been described as 
a " great scholar and a subtil disputant, 
but no great friend to the College." 
Doubtless, he and his predecessors had 
performed the duties at Tyrie by deputy. 

In 1574, Tyrie, Gamrie, Aberdour, and 
Philorth were served by Mr David Howe- 
soun as minister — the contemporary reader 
at Tyrie being Alexander Ugstoun, whose 
salary was xx lib (Register of Ministers). 
Howesoun died in charge of Tyrie in 1615, 
and was followed by Rev. William 
Cheyue, who was deposed in 1637. The 
succeeding incumbent was Rev. William 

Fraser, M.A., who, in turn, was followed, 
in 1645, by Rev. David Houston, M.A. 

After the death, about 1692, of Rev. 
John Jamieson, M.A. (admitted to 
Tyrie 20th December, 1648), consider- 
able trouble ensued over the appoint- 
ment of a successor. For some time 
previously Andrew Dalgarno, M.A., school- 
master of Fraserburgh, who held licence 
as a preacher, acted as an assistant 
minister at Tyrie, and, on the vacancy 
occurring, he intruded to the charge. He 
had got a call, but this was so keenly re- 
sented by the b\ilk of the parishioners that 
a rabble followed. The incidents are re- 
corded in a local ballad, known as " The 
Guise of Tyrie " — 

" Oh, wat ye how the guise began, 
The guise began, the guise began, 
O wat ye how the guise began, 
The guise began at Tyrie? 

The Lady Tyrie and laird o' Glack, 
Wha lived baith into the Slack, 
Between them twa there was a pack 
To enter Cripple Andry." 

The female portion of the congregation, 
with whom Dalgarno was anything but 
popular, waxed wroth over the matter, and 
treated Lady Tyrie with much indignity — 

" They said her husband was in h — 1, 
And she was following fast hersell, 
And she was following fast hersell, 
For entering Cripple Andry. 

They tare her veil out owre her tail, 
Out owre her tail, out owre her tail, 
They tare her veil out owre her tail, 
For entering Cripple Andry." 

[Peter Buchan, in his " Ancient 
Ballads," gives a version of the piece from 
which these verses are taken, but in his 
explanatory notes commits the blunder of 
naming Rev. Andrew Cant, minister of 
Tyrie, as its hero. Cant never held the 
pastorate of Tyrie, but was for some time 
minister of the adjoining parish of 



The opposition ultimately prevailed, and 
•• Aiidry," finding that his was not the 
" message of peace " at Tyrie, wisely with- 
drew, and remained schoolmaster at 

In 1701, Rev. James Farquhar was or- 
dained to the charge, but eight years later 
d emitted office owing to scruples respect- 
ing Church Government. He was subse- 
quently inducted to the charge of Nigg. 
He possessed great bodily strength, and 
was frequently employed to preach 
churches vacant which had been held by 
Episcopalians. Mr Jervise records some 
of his exploits and eccentricities. 

Only three of at least 15 ministers who 
have at different times held the incum- 
bency since the Reformation are com- 
memorated by tombstones at Tyrie. This 
doubtless arises from the fact that trans- 
lations to other parishes had in some in- 
stances taken place, whilst in the case of 
ministers dying within the parish, it was 
usual, up to about 1750, to inter the re- 
mains within the church under or beside 
the pulpit. 

A tablestone near the centre of the 
churchyard is inscribed — 

Erected by Agnes Wilson, in memory of 
her husband, John Byth, Farmer in Milltown 
of Rathen, who died 6th September, 1835, in 
the 73rd year of his age, and of their daughter 
Agnes, who died 27th August, 1814, aged 13. 
Also in memory of her grandfather. The Revd. 
John Mercer, Minister of Tyrie, who died 31st 
March, 1761, in the 74th year of his age and 
45th of his ministry. And of her Brother, 
James Wilson, Merchant at Tyrie, who died 
17th Febr., 1796, aged 39. The above-named 
Agnes Wilson died 19th March, 1855, aged 85 

Rev. John Mercer, M.A., eldest son of 
Thomas Mercer of Todlaw and Smiddy- 
burn, was successor to the above Rev. 
James Farquhar. He married Isobel 
Martin (she died 21st March, 1765), 
daughter of Robert Martin of Bruntbrae, 

and they had at least three of a family 
— John, in Kirktown of Tyrie, who died 
10th January, 1790, aged 73f years; 
Thomas, who became a minister; and 
Elizabeth, who married the Rev. James 
Wilson of Gamrie. In the inscription a 
mistake has been made as to the length 
of Mr Mercer's incumbency at Tyrie. The 
Presbytery and Session Records prove that 
he was ordained to the full charge on 30th 
November, 1710, that he continued in the 
active discharge of his duties down to 
28th December, 1760 — when he preached 
his last public sermon — and that he died 
on 31st March, 1761. He was thus in 
the 51st (not the 45th) year of his 

Two tablestones, within a railed-in en- 
closure, are inscribed respectively — 

To the memory of the Revd. William Fraser, 
Minister of the Gospel at Tyrie, who, after 
faithfully discharging the Pa6toral office of this 
Parish for 37 years, cheerfully resigned his 
spirit into the hands of his Creator on the 
6th September, 1810, in the 69th year of his 
age; this stone is erected as a tribute justly 
due to a beloved husband and an affectionate 
father. Also in remembrance of his spouse, 
Anne Wilson, who departed this life upon 
the 18th March, 1835, in the 80th year of her 


Erected to the memory of Alexander Fraser 
of Sheddocksley, Physician in Aberdeen, and 
only son of the late Revd. William Fraser, 
Minister of Tyrie. He died on the 20th day 
of February, 1849, aged 60 years. 

According to Scott (Fasti), Rev. 
William Fraser, M.A., was a descendant 
of the Saltoun family, and Buchan, in 
his notes on the ballad, ' ' Lizie Baillie, ' ' 
gives details as to his forebears. Prior 
to his ministerial appointment at Tyrie, 
he officiated as schoolmaster of Fraser- 
burgh. His wife, Anne Wilson, was 
daughter of Rev. James Wilson of Gamrie, 



and grand-daughter of the above Rev. 
John Mercer. In addition to the son 
Alexander referred to in the second in- 
scription, they had three daughters — 
Sophia, who married George Cruden, 
schoolmaster of Old Deer, thereafter 
minister of Logie-Buchan, and died 18th 
December, 1839, aged 58; Elizabeth, who 
became the second wife of James Watt, 
merchant and bank agent, Old Deer, and 
died 26th March, 1865, aged 80 (Tomb- 
stone at Old Deer) ; and Sarah, who be- 
came the second wife of Donaldson Rose of 
Hazelhead, merchant- and shipowner, 
Aberdeen, and died 21st February, 1868, 
aged 77 (Tombstone in St Nicholas, Aber- 
deen). The two last-mentioned are not 
noticed by Scott. 

A tablestone bears the following inscrip- 
tion — 

Erected by the parishioners of Tyrie in 
memory of their respected and beloved pastor, 
the Rev. George Alexander Simpson, who, 
after an incumbency of 30 years, departed this 
life on the 23rd October, 1841, aged 54 years. 
Also in memory of his children — Henry, who 
died in 1826, aged 4 years ; Patrick, who died 
in 1829, aged 9 weeks; Ann, who died in 1830, 
aged 12 days ; Charles, who died in 1833, aged 
5 years ; George Alexander, who died in 1835. 
aged 11 months; Leonara, who died 14th Oct., 
1841, aged 16 years ; and Rachel, who died in 
Aberdeen, 17th Feb., 1839, aged 21 years, and 
was interred in the town churchyard there; 
Katharine, who died in India 27th Sept., 1860, 
aged 26 years; William, who died 2nd Oct., 
1864, aged 43 years ; Alexander, who died 14th 
Nov., 1864, aged 45 years. Also in memory of 
Agnes Lawrie, the beloved wife of the abov^ 
Revd. George Alexander Simpson, who died 
in Aberdeen 9th Dec, 1864, aged 67 years. 

Rev. George Alexander Simpson, M.A., 
was the son of Rev. Alexander Simpson, 
minister of Fraserburgh (see Fraser- 
burgh), and for some time was school- 
master of Rathen parish. As stated in 
the inscription, he married Agnes Lawrie, 
and of their numerous family one son — 

Alexander, became a surgeon in the 
H.E.I.C.S., Bengal, while a daughter, 
Katharine, married Dr John Brown, who 
held an official appointment in the same 

In 1842, Rev. James Cruden, M.A., suc- 
ceeded, but in 1855 he was translated to 

In 1856, Rev. Alexander Milne, M.A., 
was ordained. He acted for many years 
as clerk to the Bruce Bequest Trustees. 
In 1859, he married Isabella Caroline 
Patton, who died in 1899. In March, 
1899, the University of St Andrews con- 
ferred on him the degree of D.D. He 
died 29th October, 1905, aged 80. 

In 1901 Rev. Adam Nelson, B.D., was 
ordained as assistant and successor. 


The lands of Tyrie originally formed a 
portion of the extensive possessions of the 
Earls of Buchan, which subsequently 
passed to the Earls of Ross. In 1367, 
Walter of Lesly, lord of Ross, granted a 
charter of " Tiry " with other lands to 
Euphame of Saint Clare. (Antiq., II., 383.) 
In 1418, Laurence Mercer of Aldie ordered 
sasine of the lands of Faithlie and Tyrie 
to be given to Alexander Fraser, son of the 
deceased Sir William Fraser of Philorth. 
(Antiq., IV., p. 122.) In 1504, Sir William 
Fraser had a charter of ' ' feuferme ' ' from 
Sir Henry Mercer of Aldie of the lands of 
Tyrie, etc. (Ibid, p. 124.) James Fraser, 
third son of Sir Alexander Fraser of 
Philorth and Fraserburgh (1570-1624) re- 
ceived the same property from his father 
as his portion. He was the founder of the 
mansion of Tyrie described in the ' ' View 
of the Diocese of Aberdeen " as "a great 
house, built fancifully after a foreign 
model, but never quite finished, and now 
ruinous." Prior to 1728 the estate was 
sold to George Leslie of Eden, and after 



passing through various hands, was pur- 
chased by Simon Fraser of Ness Castle, 
and through him re-united to the Philorth 
estates. (Frasers of Philorth, II., p. 152.) 
Easter Tyrie would seem to have been a 
separate possession, David II., in 1369, con- 
firming a grant of it by Hugh of Ross of 
Philorth to Alexander of St Clare, son of 
the deceased Thomas of St Clare. (R.M.S., 
p. 76, No. 273.) In the end of the six- 
teenth century it belonged to the Chalmers 
family, who formerly owned the land of 
Strichen. Alexander Chalmers of that 
family was the last laird of Strichen, which 
he sold to Fraser of Knockie, ancestor of 
the present Lord Lovat. He married, 
first, Elizabeth Johnston ; and, secondly, 
Margaret Gordon, sister of Gordon of 
Gight, the murderer of Thomas Fraser at 
the bridge of Deer on Christmas Eve, 1576. 
His eldest son, James Chalmers, lived at 
the Mill of Strichen, and was designed of 
Coynach and Easter Tyrie. He married 
Janet Chalmers, a natural daughter* of a 
priest, Duncan Chalmers, Chancellor of 
Ross, and was succeeded by his eldest son, 
Rev. George Chalmers, who held in turn 
the incumbencies of Crimond, 1596 ; 
Botarie, 1599 ; Gartly, 1601 ; and Kinore, 
1607. He was named by the General 
Assembly of 1606 as perpetual moderator 
of the Presbytery of Strathbogie, and the 
Presbytery members were charged by the 
Privy Council to receive him as such, under 
the pain of rebellion. In 1701, Easter 
Tyrie was owned by Rev. George Chalmers, 
D.D. Several members of the Strichen 
branch achieved distinction in national 
affairs. Of these may be named David 
Chalmers, Lord Ormond, who was a judge 
in the time of Mary, Queen of Scots, and 
rendered her assistance in the unfortunate 
intrigue with Bothwell. (" Chalmers and 
Trail Ancestry," etc.) 


Within an enclosure are several monu- 
ments, inscribed respectively — 

To the memory of George Forbes of Upper 
Boyndlie. Born the 22nd day of September, 
1715; died the 30th June, 1794. Jean Keith, 
his first wife, who died in 1763, and Christian 
Kcr, his second wife, who died in 1807 ; also 
Mary and Theodore Forbes, their daughter and 
son ; also John Forbes of Boyndlie. Born the 
27th June, 1758. Died the 6th December, 1824. 
All of whose mortal remains are interred here. 


In memory of Alexander Forbes of Boyndlie, 

who was born 28th of April, 1787, and died 

December 20th, 1862, and of Annabella Reid, 

his wife, who died February 3rd, 1882, aged 



To the memory of Andrew Forbes, son of 
John Forbes of Boyndlie. Born the 28th of 
June, 1794. Died the 27 of September, 1831. 

To the memory of Katharine Morison, wife of 
John Forbes of Boyndlie. Born the 25th of 
April, 1757; died the 5th of January, 1832; 
also Helen Forbes, daughter of George Forbes 
of Upper Boyndlie. Bom 16th of March, 1757 ; 
died the 23rd of April, 1839. 


To the Glory of God and in loving memory 
of George Ogilvie Forbes, M.D., of Boyndlie. 
Born 19 Sept., 1820; departed 25 June, 1886. 

" The Lord grant unto him that he may find 
mercy of the Lord on that day." 

On the reverse — 

Also of Jane, his wife, daughter of Robert 
Cordiner. Born 27 March, 1814; died 4 April, 

Make them to be numbered with Thy Saints 
in Glory everlasting. 

The first of the Forbeses of Boyndlie was 
a cadet of the noble family of Pitsligo, and 
fell at the battle of Crabstane in 1571 . A 
descendant— John Forbes of Boyndlie— was 
taken prisoner by Montrose at the battle 



of Aberdeen on 12th September, 1644. He 
was subsequently released on parole, with 
a view to exchange by the Covenanters 
with young Irvine of Drum, who had been 
taken prisoner by them. The negotiations 
fell through, however, and Forbes honour- 
ably returned to the camp of Montrose, and 
remained with him while his supporters 
were deserting in bands. 

The first house of Boyndlie was built in 
1560, but was rebuilt about a century later. 
Captain Forbes, son of the rebuilder, en- 
larged and beautified it greatly. He was 
succeeded by Captain John Forbes, who, 
as an elder and J. P., was, in 1705, 
appointed to accompany his minister, Rev. 
James Farquhar, and aid him in ejecting 
from the Parish Church of Fraserburgh 
Rev. Alexander Moore, who was the last 
Episcopalian incumbent to hold office there. 
Captain John Forbes died in 1741, leaving 
two daughters as heirs portioners. The 
younger of these — Elizabeth — in 1755 
married Baillie George Philips, merchant 
in Banff, and had three sons — Alexander, 
who became a captain ; John, who qualified 
as a surgeon ; and George, who entered the 
service of the Hon. the East India, Com- 
pany, and rose to the rank of major. The 
last-named left a legacy of £600 for behoof 
of the poor of Tyrie parish. Baillie Philips 
died about 1758, and shortly afterwards 
his widow married James Mackie of Gask 
(see Peterhead). The elder daughter, 
who was a cripple, married a cooper 
named Thomas Morris. Mackie and his 
wife thereupon instituted legal proceed- 
ings to deprive the elder daughter of her 
portion, on the plea that she was weak 
and facile, as evidenced by her having 
married beneath her rank, but George 
Forbes of Ladysford interposed, and suc- 
cessfully maintained the legal rights of 
the cripple and her consort. 

The estate was sold about 1781 to 
Captain George Irvine, who, on 26th 

October, 1788, married Christian Gordon, 
daughter of John Gordon of Beldorney, 
and died on 16th November, 1797 (" Aber- 
deen Journal "). 

The first of the present Forbeses ot 
Boyndlie was John, a younger son of Sir 
John Forbes, third Baronet, of Mony- 
nuisk. He purchased the greater part of 
the estate of Boyndlie from Lord Pitsligo 
in 1711. He was an ardent Jacobite, and 
was commissioned, by order of the Earl of 
Mar from the camp at Perth, in 1715, to 
collect the Aberdeenshire subsidy for the 
Stuart cause. He has left an MS. ac- 
count of the sums collected from the land- 
owners of the county. On the collapse of 
the movement he fled, embarking for Hol- 
land, and is supposed to have been 
murdered at sea. He married Susan, 
daughter of George Morison of Bognie. 

George Forbes (Inscr. 1) was the 
youngest son of this John Forbes, and 
succeeded his father. His first wife was 
Jean, daughter of William Keith of 
Bruxie ; his second, Christian, daughter 
of the Rev. Andrew Ker. 

John Forbes, son by the first marriage 
of the above George Forbes, purchased the 
remainder of the estate in 1812, as already 
stated, pulled down the old and erected 
the present mansion-house. He (Inscr. 1) 
and his wife, Kathaiine Morison (Inscr. 
4), daughter of Alexander Morison of 
Bognie, are also commemorated by the 
centre light in a fine window placed in 
St Margaret's, Forgue, of which congrega- 
tion they were members. The light re- 
presents Christ bearing the cross, and was 
an offering by their second son, Alexander 
Forbes, at whose death, without issue, in 
1862, his sister Jane, who had, on 22nd 
August, 1818, married Dr John Charles 
Ogilvie, physician in Aberdeen, of the 
family of Auchiries, became proprietrix 
of Boyndlie, and assumed the additional 
surname of Forbes. 



Annabella Reid (Inscr. 2), wife of Alex- 
ander Forbes, was the daughter of James 
Reid of Ardoch, sometime merchant in 
Portsoy. She had three brothers who went 
to Jamaica, one of whom was a surgeon and 
another a lieutenant in the Army. A third 
brother — James — succeeded his uncle as 
laird of Cairnbanno, Auchmunziel, etc., 
and thereupon adopted the surname of 
Wilson. (Jervise II., p. 109.) 

Mrs Ogilvie-Forbes was succeeded in 
1876 by her eldest son, Dr George Ogilvie- 
Forbes, who, from 1860 to 1877, held the 
Professorship of Physiology in Aberdeen 
University, and was the author of "Early 
Progress of Christianity in Buchan." 
("Club of Deer" Papers, 1873.) He 
married Jane, daughter of Robert Cor- 
diner, and grand-daughter of the Rev. 
Charles Cordiner (author of ' ' Remarkable 
Ruins of North Britain "), and on his 
death, in 1886, was succeeded by his only 
son, Mr John Charles Matthias Ogilvie- 
Forbes, the present proprietor of Boyndlie, 
who married first, in 1890, Mary Christine, 
daughter of Captain George Vaughan, 
grandson of John„ third Earl of Lisburne. 
She died in 1897, and was buried in the 
Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady Star 
of the Sea at Fraserburgh. Mr Ogilvie- 
Forbes married secondly, in 1899, Anne 
Marguerite, daughter of Colonel Lennox 
Prendergast, late of the Royal Scots Greys. 

A good story is told respecting one of 
the old lairds who was the owner of various 
pictures of the saints. Upon one occasion 
the rigid Covenanting minister, Rev. 
Andrew Cant, who for some time held the 
incumbency of the neighbouring parish of 
Pitsligo, had occasion to sleep at Boyndlie, 
and on being shown to his bedroom was 
disgusted to find that the picture of St 
Peter was hanging upon the wall. He at 
once requested his host to have it removed. 
This Mr Forbes good-naturedly complied 
with, but at the same time administered a 

severe snub to his guest's narrowness and 
bigotry by substituting a portrait of Mr 
Cant himself, with the following lines 
written underneath it — 

Come down St Peter, ye superstitious saint, 
And let up your better, Mr Andrew Cant ! 


The following three from tablestones 
commemorate members of the family of 
Forrest, who have for many centuries been 
connected with Tyrie : — 

. . . the corps of Georg Forest, vho lived 
in Tillinamoult, vho vas intered here the 
24 of Sept., 161—. 

Heir lyes Thomas Forest, who lived in Cvk- 
bog, vhos corps was intered in this sepvlcher 
the 20 of Febr., 1677 years. O Death where is 
thy sting, O grave where is thy victory. 

This stone is erected by William Forrest, in 
Aucheries, in memory of his lawful spouse. 
Isobel Henderson, who departed this life the 
10th July, 1793, aged 66 years. 

The Forrests were long in Tillinamolt, 
where a considerable mansion-house at one 
time stood. In 1696, John Forrest was 
tenant of the mill there, and in 1710 he is 
named as one of tlie parish elders. He 
married Jean Ogston, believed to be a 
daughter of George Ogston, some time in 
Ladysford. Messrs Forrest, merchants 
and bauk agents at Lonmay, are descen- 
dants of this branch. 

On a tablestone — 

To the memory of Mary Coutts, wife of 
William Fowlie, A.M., schoolmaster of Tyrie. 
Born 23rd June, 1801. Died 10th February, 
1836. William Fowlie, M.A. Born 1st October, 
1801. Died 4th August, 1875, aged 73 years. 

Besides being schoolmaster, Mr Fowlie 
for some time acted as a farmer, and was 
held in much esteem. At Tyrie he sue- 



ceeded Rev. James Smith, afterwards 
Rector of Banff Academy, and subse- 
quently minister of Monquhitter. 

A tablestone near at hand commemorates 
Mr Fowlie's parents — 

Erected by William Fowlie, late of Mill of 
Boyndlie, in memory of his beloved wife, 
Agnes Gordon, who was born 13th June, 1776, 
and died 30th December, 1836. The above 
William Fowlie was born 24th February, 1766, 
and died at Cairnmourning 17th February, 

Another schoolmaster is commemorated 
by a tablestone — 

To the memory of William Crawford, A.M., 
some time schoolmaster of Tyrie, who died 
Sept. 7th, 1768, aged 73 years, and of his 
daughter Katharine Crawford, who died Octr. 
7th, 1792, aged 57 years. She was spouse to 
James Rose, mason in Tarmair, who erected 
this stone. The said James Rose died in Nov., 
1818, aged 73 years. 

On a tablestone, showing various 
emblems, including a skull, cross-bones, 
bell, sand-glass, spade, coffin, etc., sur- 
rounded by a scroll inscribed MEMENTO 

Heer lyes the body of iiargrat Anderson, 
spouse to Andrew Grig, sometime indwellars 
in Neitherboinlie, who departed this life August 
26th, 1743, aged about 80. 

Near the lower walk is a tablestone 
which bears an undated inscription in 
Latin. The letters are curiously arranged, 
and in some parts ran through each other 
to such an extent as to render an exact 
translation practically impossible. An 
illustration of the letters is given in 
Piatt's "Buchan," along with the follow- 
ing probable translation — 

In the hope of a blessed resurrection, the 
daughter of Eliza Gordon (or Garden) and 
Henri Cuming caused the bones of Patrick 
Cumin, Christina, his wife, arid several of their 
children, to be entombed or covered. 

Death levels the master with the man, and 
sceptres with dung-forks. 

The following three inscriptions are from 
tablestones — 


Here lyes the corps of Iohn Grig, who lived 
in Craighil 96 years, and departed the 22 of 
Iul, 1661. 


Here lies the body of James Skinner, square 
wright, some time in Burn-side of Philorth, 
who died Novr. 5th, 1743, aged 41. 


Here lyes the Body of Alexander Hepburn, 
sometime Tenant in Techmurie, who departed 
this life October 19th, 1785, aged 57 years. Also 
lyes under this stone Elspet Third, who was 
his spouse, and died Ianry 23rd, 1788, aged 84 

This stone was erected by Elspet Third, who 
was his spouse. 

On a tablestone — 

Here lies the body of Iame6 Shirer, some 
time in Cairnyuhing, who departed this life 
April the 25th, 1722, aged 54 years, and Anna 
Baird, his spouse, who departed the 9 of Feby., 
1739, aged 70 years. And also of William 
Shirer, their son, who lived some time in 
Tillinamolt, and died in Glasslay Deer. 21st, 
1773, in the 75th year of his age. 

Also Isabel Birnie, his spouse. She died April 
15th, 1781, aged 81. Likewise of Andrew Shirer 
(son to the above Wm. Shirer and Isabel Birnie) ; 
he lived 42 years in Glaslay, and died June 
12th. 1794, aged 68 years. 

And nearly 18 yrs. afterwards was deposited 
here the body of Jean Anderson, his spouse, 
who died at Glaslay Janr. 18th, a.d. 1812, aged 

The lands of Cairnwhing, under different 
styles of spelling, are referred to in several 
early dated writs. On 6th November, 
1423, John, Earl of Buchan and Constable 
of France, granted precept to infeft 
William Forbes of Kynnaldy in ' ' Cairny- 
whinge," etc., and on 11th December, 
1563, John Forbes of Pitsligo granted pre- 
cept to infeft John Gordon of Lungar in 



" Carynvyngs," etc. (Antiq., IV., p. 122.) 
The Shirers have long been farmers in the 
coast district of Buchan. 

The next three inscriptions are also from 
tablestones — 


Below this *tone was interred the body of 
John Anderson, late Tacksman of the Mill of 
Boynlie; he died Oct. 4th, 1779, aged 68 years. 

Erected by William Anderson, his son. 

Below this stone was interred the body of 
Alexander Wilson, late Tacksman of the Mains 
of Tyrie, who died July 9th, 1769, aged 61, and 
of his wife, Agnes Mercer, who died Septr. 23rd, 
1788. aged 63 years. Likewise their second son 
Thomas, who died at Kirktown, Fyvie, 7th 
May, 1814, aged 62. 

Erected by Mary Chalmers Watt, in memory 
of her beloved husband William Watt, Farmer, 
Quarryhead, Auchiries, who departed this life 
the 21st March, 1864, aged 33 years. 

Also their daughter Maggie, who died in 
U.S., America, on 25th January, 1878, and her 
remains laid with the dust of that country, aged 
17 years. 

Life at best is but a Span, 
An inch or two of time ; 
Man is but vanity and dust 
In all his flower and prime. 

On a tablestone beside south wall at 
west side — 

Here lyes John Ogstoun, sone to George 
Ogstoun and Marjory Chamber, his spovs in 
Ladyesfoord, who died December 9, 1655. 

The major portion of the last inscrip- 
tion runs round the margin of the stone, 
whilst the central upper portion is taken 
up with a large coat-of-arms, showing a 
close resemblance to that now borne by 
Ogston of that Ilk. It presents a shield 
divided by raised bands into four practi- 
cally square portions. In the upper right 
and lower left corners three lozenges are 
shown, while in the upper left and lower 
righl ;i lion is portrayed. According to 

the Genealogical History of the Ogston 
Families, John Ogston, in Ladysford 
(1623-1635) married Barbara Forbes, and 
George Ogston referred to in the inscrip- 
tion, was their eldest son. This branch of 
the family acted as bankers and wad- 
setters, and their transactions as such were 
of an extensive character. (Spalding 
Club "Miscellany" III., pp. 79-80.) 


Several relics of antiquity formerly 
existed in the parish, such as cairns and 
barrows, the sure indication, when they 
occur in number, of battles and feuds of 
bygone ages. In the case of Tyrie, they 
are supposed to lie in the line of march of 
the Danish army, which would seem to 
have been through the fastnesses of Auch- 
medden to the Bay of Gamrie (Statis. 
Acct.). In this vicinity is the Law Cairn 
which, early last century, was explored, 
but to no practical purpose. It had prob- 
ably been the mound upon which the 
ancient thanes and subsequently the barons 
dispensed justice. Near the parish church 
there stood till the last century a circular 
mound known as " The Moat," but for 
what purpose it had been constructed has 
not been satisfactorily explained. 

The most interesting relic is a large 
stone found underneath the south-eastern 
corner of the foundation wall of the old 
church. It is described as being a 
" rough, unhewn, shapeless mass of blue- 
clayish mica stone." It has been care- 
fully preserved, and is now so placed in 
the inside of the passage leading from the 
vestry to the chancel as to leave exposed 
the interesting hieroglyphics cut on one 
of its faces. The most peculiar of these 
markings is the representation of a bird, 
which has such a striking resemblance to 
an eagle or to a raven that the stone has 
gradually got to be known as " The Raven's 



Stoue." It is engraved in the " Sculp- 
tured Stones of Scotland,'' issued by the 
Spalding Club, and is also reproduced and 
described in " Early Christian Monuments 
of Scotland." 

1Rew flMtslicjo. 

The village of New Pitsligo, which stands 
at an altitude of upwards of 500 feet on the 
eastern slope of the hill of Turlundie, was 
founded in 1787 by Sir William Forbes, 
Bart., of Pitsligo, the eminent banker and 
superior of the lands. The name New 
Pitsligo superseded that of Caik or Cavoch, 
which was the designation of the farm on 
which the greater portion of the village is 
erected. The village extends for upwards 
of a mile in practically two parallel streets, 
there being a large grass-covered square 
(intersected by cross roads) near the centre. 
The houses are tastefully planned, with 
neatly - kept gardens, while numerous 
clumps of trees are scattered about. A 
beautifully-wooded den, with a rivulet flow- 
ing through its centre, crosses the village. 
These features, with its high elevation, 
give New Pitsligo a conspicuous appear- 
ance, and it justly claims to be one of the 
most healthy and bracing villages in Aber- 

The inhabitants at one time engaged in 
the linen trade, and subsequently in hand- 
loom weaving and lace-making. In the 
last-named industry considerable efficiency 
and fame were attained— a robe of Pitsligo 
lace being worn by the late Princess Royal 
at the opening of the first Crystal Palace 
Exhibition. The business afterwards 
waned, but an effort is being made to 
revive it. There are several quarries in 
the immediate vicinity, which give employ- 
ment to a considerable number of work- 

men. Granite is abundant, but the ex- 
pense of transport of the cut stones mili- 
tates against the proper development of 
this branch of business. 

The village contains two hotels, numerous 
shops, and a commodious public hall. 

In one of the houses in the lower street 
is preserved a quantity of pannelling re- 
moved from the ancient house of Auch- 
medden when it was dismantled. Part — 
on which is a shield bearing the arms of the 
old Baird family, with the initials L. B. 
and date 1607 — forms the front of a bed ; 
while a board presenting a shield with the 
family arms and the initials G. B. has been 
utilised as a mantelpiece. 


Of the churches in the village, that of St 
John the Evangelist (Episcopal) is pic- 
turesquely situated by the side of the 
wooded den referred to. The present 
church, which superseded one erected 
about 1835, was completed in 1871, and 
is in the early English style of architec- 
ture, after plans by George E. Street, the 
eminent architect. On the outer wall of 
the chancel is a granite tablet bearing the 
following inscription — 

To the Glory of God and in memory of 
Alexander Forbes of Boyndlie. 

This chancel was erected by his widow, 
Annabella.— A.D. MDCCCLXX. 

The church has recently been beautified 
by the addition of six stained glass win- 
dows, presented in 1898 by J. H. Bridges 
of Fedderate and Ardlaw, in memory of 
his father, Canon Bridges ; and of an organ 
commemorative of Rev. William Webster, 
for 52 years incumbent of the church, and 
for some time dean of the diocese. Dean 
Webster and his wife are also commemo- 
rated by a handsome granite tombstone in 
the churchyard adjoining- 
Sacred to the memory of the Very Reverend 



William Webster, M.A., Dean of Aberdeen 
and Orkney. Born in Aberdeen 12th Novem- 
ber 1810; died 10 April 1896. 

Sacred t-o the memory of Mary Hutchison, 
or Webster, widow of the Very Reverend 
William Webster. M.A., Dean of Aberdeen 
and Orkney. Born 2nd December 1818; died 
in Aberdeen 25th December 1901. 

The tombstones in Rt John's Churchyard 
are all modern. 


Rhortly after the village was founded, a 
Chapel of Ease to Tyrie was erected by 
the proprietor on a site above the village, 
and near the top of the hill of Turlundie. 
In 1853, however, the district was formed 
into a parish quoad sacra, a large portion 
of Tyrie being assigned to it. The church 
was much altered and improved some time 
ago, and recently an organ chamber was 
formed by widening one of the sides. The 
building is lighted by lancet windows, is 
surmounted by decorated crosses, and has 
an artistic belfry, in which there is a bell 
inscribed — ''J. Warner and Rons, London, 
1853." There are galleries on three sides, 
in one of which is fixed a white marble 
tablet — 

To the memory of The Reverend John 
Sharp, 25 years Schoolmaster of the Parish 
of Pitsligo, and 33 years the faithful and be- 
loved Pastor of this congregation, who was 
called hence on the 20 day of July 1837, in the 
83rd year of his age. 

This tablet is erected by his grateful friend 
and patron 

The " grateful friend and patron " who 
erected the above tablet was Rir William 
Forbes, Bart., of Pitsligo. 

Rev. John Rharp, jun., schoolmaster of 
Aberdonr, son of the above Rev. John 
Sharp, was appointed assistant and suc- 
cessor on 18th July, 1837, and held office 
at the time of the erection of the charge 
into a parish quoad sacra. Tn 1865 Rev. 

Robert Gibb Forrest, M.A., was elected 
successor, but three years later was trans- 
lated to Macduff, and from thence, in 
1871, to West Coates, Edinburgh. He is 
a D.D. of Aberdeen University. At New 
Pitsligo Rev. John M'Gregor Fergusson, 
M.A., succeeded. He holds the degree of 
TjL.D., is a distinguished botanist, and is 
now the minister of Fern, to which he re- 
moved in 1875. Rev. John S. Loutit suc- 
ceeded, but was translated to Foveran in 
1880. Rev. John Catto, M.A., was the 
nest incumbent, but he removed to 
Fintray in 1885, when the present 
minister, Rev. Alexander R. Craib, 
F.R.A., was elected. 


In the adjoining graveyard, which is 
well kept, are many tombstones. One of 
the oldest is that " to the memory of 
Joseph Henry, innkeeper in New Pitsligo 
during the space of 32 years — from the 
year 1788 "—who died 6th June, 1820. A 
handsome obelisk alongside and within the 
same kerb commemorates John Bell, who 
died in 1843, and Mary Henry, his wife, 
who died in 1871; also John Bell, J. P., 
Tyrie Mains, who died suddenly upon 11th 
February, 1902, aged 64. 

There is a tablestone — 

Erected by Forbes and George Philip, masons 
in Aberdeen, in grateful memorial of their 
loving and affectionate father, John Philip, who 
was for upwards of 40 years Ground Officer to 
Sir Wra. Forbes of Pitsligo, Bart., which office 
he discharged to the satisfaction of all con- 
cerned; died 26th Nov., 1826, aged 71. Also of 
their brother John, Accountant, died on the 
Roxburgh Estate. Tobago. West Indies, 13th 
August, 1822, aged 24. 

The following inscription upon a head- 
stone certifies in brief, but quaintly- 
expressed terms, to the virtues of a 
pattern wife — 
Erected by his affectionate spouse in memory 



of her husband, John Tarves, late Farmer 
Broomhill, New Deer, who died 30th January. 
1858, aged 70 years. His spouse, Christian 
Mackie, died at Broomhill, April 14th, 1860, in 
the 80th year of her age. What a wife should 
be. Just such a wife was she. 

The three following headstone inscrip- 
tions show that ability and well-doing 
carry their reward — 


Iu memory of William Richardson, Inspector, 
Aberdeenshire Constabulary, who died at New 
Pitsligo, on the 10th April. 1864. in the 45th 
year of his age. He was one of the most active 
and zealous officers of the Police Force, in 
which he had served for 17 years, winning for 
himself the respect of a.!l who knew him. 

He died deservedly regretted. 

This stone has been erected by the Superin- 
tendent and Inspectors of the Aberdeenshi/c 


Erected by many friends in Brucklay and sur- 
rounding districts in loving memory of James 
Birnie, who died at Artamford, 22nd March. 
1886, aged 31 years. His character was strongly 
marked. It exhibited in rare combination 
dutiful affection as a son, kindness as a "Brother 
and Friend," and unflinching integrity end 
fidelity in the discharge of any duty intrusted 
to him. 


To David Sturrock, twenty-one years Parochial 
Schoolmaster. Now Pitsligo. Born March of 
Gardyne, Forfarshire, 5th September, 1840 ; 
Died at New Pitsligo, 10th April, 1883. Erected 
by Pupils and Friends, in appreciative remem- 
brance of his faithful work and upright 

David Sturrock, who was cut off at the 
early age of forty-three, had a taste for 
astronomical and meteorological subjects 
and for several years kept a record of the 
district rainfall. 

A tablestone is inscribed — 

Thi9 stone ie erected by Jannet Allerdice in 
memory of her husband, Alexr, Bennerman, 

some time feuer in New Pitsligo, who died 
25th Octr., 1812, in the 69th year of his age. 

A headstone bears the following com- 
memorative and admonitory inscription — 

Erected by William Webster, in memory of 
his father, George Webster, who died at Tir- 
cloesie, 7th Jany., 1856, aged 59 years. Also 
his wife, Isabell Duncan, who died at New 
Pitsligo, 27th Oct., 1879, aged 81 years. 

Weep not for me, my children dear, 
I am not dead, but sleeping here ; 
And death ere long will ca.ll for thee, 
Prepare in time to follow me. 

A granite headstone is inscribed — 

In memory of George Boyes, Feuar, New Pit- 
sligo, who died 30th April, 1872. aged 85 years. 
And of his wife, An n Wilson, who died 9th 
February. 1869. aged 71 years. Also their son 
John who died 22nd June, 1897. aged 63 years. 

A headstone to Peter Murray, who died 
in 1846, aged 83, has— 

There's virtue in His blood, 

That died upon the tree. 
To bring a sinner near to God, 

And that's enough for me. 

A family named Craigen, who were 
feuars in the village, have this remarkable 
record of ages — John Craigen, died 1853, 
aged 82; Alexander Craigen, died 1857, 
aged 82 ; Ann Craigen, died 1848, aged 81 ; 
and Mary Craigen, died 1863, aged 88. 

The Superior of the village is Lord 
Clinton, son of Charles Henry Rollo- 
Hepburn - Stuart - Forbes - Tref usis, Lord 
Clinton, by his first marriage with his 
cousin, Harriet Wilhelmina, only daughter 
of Sir John Stuart Hepburn-Forbes, 
eighth Baronet of Pitsligo. He is the 
twenty-first Lord Clinton, having suc- 
ceeded to the title on the death of his 
father, in March, 1904. He married, in 
1886, Lady Jane Grey M'Donnell, daughter 
of the late Mark, tenth Earl of Antrim, 
and their family consists of two surviving 





The name of Bethelnie, or Balthelney, 
possibly has its derivation from Nathalen, 
or Nachlan, the saint to whom the parish 
church was originally dedicated. This 
saint, according to the Breviary of Aber- 
deen, lived about a.d. 450. It is written 
of liim that " he followed tbe primitive em- 
ployment of husbandry (though nobly 
born), but gave away his increase to the 
poor; that having gone in pilgrimage to 
Rome, he was there made a bishop; and 
returning home built the churches of 
Bethelny, Cowl, and Tulloch . . . ." 
His feast was observed upon a day in 
January, which all the people of the 
parish held as a holiday with much re- 
joicing. This was in gratitude for the 
signal service rendered during the preval- 
ence of a plague. Tradition states that, 
whilst the pestilence was devastating the 
country and surrounding district, the saint 
did such humble penance by praying round 
the borders of the parish on his knees that 
the fatal disease never entered it. 

The church, with certain lands, was con- 
ferred by William Cumyn, Earl of Buchan, 
and his spouse, the Countess Marjory, 
upon the Church or Abbey of St Thomas 
the Martyr, Arbroath, for the safety of 
the souls of William the King, and that of 
the granters. (Regist. Arb.) This was 
between 1211 and 1214, and upon 22nd 
February, 1221-22, Alexander II. granted 
confirmation, the Royal charter being 
signed at Fyuyn, now Fyvie. The church 
of "Buthelny" is included in the grant 
of churches made by Gilbert, Bishop of 
Aberdeen, to the monks of Arbroath in 
1228-39. The same is also included in 
the charter by the chapter of the Church 

of Aberdeen, as well as in that by 
Ralph, Bishop of Aberdeen, both to 
the said parties in 1239-47. (Antiq., II., 
pp. 121-23.) On 9th January, 1257, Pope 
Alexander IV 7 . ratified the provision made 
for the vicarage of the church by the abbot 
and convent of a stipend of fifteen merks, 
the whole altarage, and six merks in teind 
sheaves from the lands in the parish then 
under cultivation. (Regis. Epis. Aberd., 
I., pp. 18-23.) 

Alexander Seton, for some time Chan- 
cellor of the Diocese of Aberdeen, was the 
last pre-Reformation rector of Bethelnie. 
He was the second son of Alexander Seton 
of Meldrum by his first wife, Agnes Gor- 
don, daughter of Patrick Gordon of 
Haddo, ancestor of the Earls of Aberdeen. 
The parish was supplied, in 1567, by 
Thomas Myll, reader ; and, in 1570, by 
Alexander Garioch, reader, the salary of 
each being at the rate of xx. lib. (Re- 
gister of Ministers.) 

In 1574, Rev. Stephen Masoun was 
elected minister, with several other 
parishes in charge. Succeeding ministers 
were:— In 1613, Rev. John Logie ; in 1633, 
Rev. W T illiam Wedderburn ; in 1647, Rev 
George Leith ; and in 1665, Rev. William 
Urquhart, who was the last minister at 
the old church. (Rev. Marshall B. Lang's 
"The Story of a Parish.") 

James Logan, author of " The Scottish 
Gael," etc., made many visits to the dis- 
trict early last century, and, in his MS. 
notes, gives several interesting particulars. 
Alluding to the old church, he says:- — 

The ancient structure stood in the north 
side of the parish, and was about twenty-six 
paces long by ten wide A portion of the site 
is enclosed by a wall as the burial-place of the 
family of Urquhart. There are few now in- 
terred here, although the ground is large; and 
to prevent, as it would appear, its being at 
all used for this purpose, it is planted over 
with trees, by which it has a singular aspect. 



There are no gravestones, if we except two 
small stones — one only about a foot wide, bear- 
ing the date 1739. The other shows a coat of 
arms, Gordon, and a fess cheeky with a 
lozenge in base. Tbo inscription is— 

Heir lyes George Gordon, vha departed the 
22 do 1661. Sicklyk His Spous Christan Lind- 
say, vha departed the 23 Nov. 1650. 

The famous Adam Donald, the prophet of 
Bethelnie, lived close to the churchyard, in 
which his grave is seen with the stone on 
which his water bucket rested, for a headstone. 

Regarding the above Gordon-Lindsay 
small tablestone (the probability is tliat it 
commemorates George Gordon, Mill of 
Cromlet, Bourtie, and his wife), which is 
now much decayed, considerable diversity 
of opinion has arisen in the district — many 
holding that it is really to the memory of 
a Donald — possibly an ancestor of Adam 
Donald, the prophet. In this they are in 
error, as the following letters and figures 
may still bo traced: — 

Heir lyes Geo ... G . . don vha departed 

tho 22 de 16 lyk his . . . 

Christan L .... ay vha departed the 23 No. 


Adam Donald was a deformed, eccentric 
native of the parish, known by the familiar 
titles of Satey, Prophet, and Doctor. He 
conducted an extensive business, not only as 
a doctor and herbalist, but as an exponent 
of the powers of divination. His ointments 
and medicines were prepared by himself 
from herbs gathered in the country, and it 
was firmly believed by the credulous that he 
could give an infallible remedy for everv 
ailment under the sun. As a necromancer, 
he frequented the lonely graveyard, pro- 
fessing to get disclosures and advice from 
departed spirits. When an article was 
stolen or went amissing, and when mis- 
fortune or loss occurred, who could so well 
reveal the secret, or prescribe the remedy 
as the redoubtable prophet ! When so con- 

sulted, he took care to give cautious, 
general answers, capable of various inter- 
pretations, and having private facilities at 
his command for knowing something of the 
history of the applicants, he was able to 
impress them so favourably that persons 
from all parts of the shire repaired to him. 
With the fishing population he was ex- 
tremely popular, and his wonderful cures, 
and still more wonderful revelations, were 
retailed and multiplied to an extraordinary 
extent. His usual consultation fee was 
sixpence, and, small as this sum may seem, 
he gathered as much as enabled him to win 
a good-looking country maiden, whom he 
ultimately married. After a time, a 
daughter was born, but as she grew up she 
laughed at the imposition practised by her 
father, and divulged the secret of it. After 
this, business fell away considerably, and 
poor Adam spent his latter days in any- 
thing but affluent circumstances. A 
picture of him was painted, and he ex- 
pressed the desire that the following lin«s, 
which he had composed, might be placed 
at the foot of it: — 

Time doth all things devour. 
And time doth all things waste ; 
And we waste time, 
And so we are at last 1 

He was born in 1703, and died in 1780. 

The water bucket memorial stone, 
alluded to by Logan, and which is under- 
stood to have borne no inscription, has dis- 


Logan's remark as to the singular ap- 
pearance presented by the graveyard of 
Bethelnie nearly a century ago still holds 
good, for a more isolated or forsaken spot 
it would be difficult to imagine. A few 
tombstones have been erected within 
recent years. 




A railed-in headstone bears the follow- 
ing inscription: — 

Sacred to the memory of John Forbes, writer, 
Edinburgh, second son of James Forbes of 
Kirkhill. who died at Oldmeldrum, 14th 
January, 1853, in the 56th year of his age. 
Also to the memory of Rachel Manson, his 
wife, whc died at Oldmeldrum. 3rd February, 

Another headstone bears — 

1823. To the memory of Elizabeth Sangster, 
spouse of George Black, Oldmeldrum. She 
died 23rd January, 1789, aged 55 years. This 
stone is erected by their loving daughter, Ann 

The surname Black is a very old parish 
one. Several bearing it have been promi- 
nent merchants and farmers. 


Regarding the change in the situation of 
the Parish Church, Logan's MS. records — 

When the church was transferred to the 
vicinity of Oldmeldrum ... it was intended 
to annex Bourtie to it, but from whatever cause 
this was not done. The removal of the kirk 
from Bethelnie took place in 1684, yet in 1688 
I find the latter name used for the parish. Con- 
cerning the erection of the kirk at Oldmeldrum, 
it is related that the hill of Perkake was the 
situation proposed, but the stones which were 
laid down at. this place, north side of the town, 
were found every morning removed to the 
common, eastward of the village. This being 
looked on as a supernatural indication of 
partiality for this spot, the church was accord- 
ingly erected there, and the burial ground 
formed on the rigs and baulks of ancient culti- 
vation, which gives it a curious appearance; 
the graves being formed along the ridges to 
avoid the intervening rocky spaces. The kirk 
of Oldmeldrum stands east and west, having a 
wing or aisle on the south aide, on which the 
belfry is erected. This is square, ornamented 
with coats of arms, etc. — that on the opposite 
uide consists of a chevron. The interior is well 
fitted up with pews and galleries, and is ceiled 

The graveyard — to which a large addition 
was recently made at the east side — is 
levelled up, and kept in good order. It 
contains a large number of tombstones, 
from which there is a general absence of 
the skull and cross-bone emblems, so 
characteristic of many Aberdeenshire 

There are two mural tablets in a railed- 
in portion near the south wall. 


Sacred to the memory of the Rev. Henry 
Likly, the Rev. John Likly, his son; and the 
Rev. James Likly, his grandson. They were 
all successively ministers of this parish (with 
the interruption of only 17 year) from 1706 to 
1817, and alike eminent for genuine piety, ex- 
tensive charity, and Christian benevolence. 
Dan. oh. xii. v. 3. 


In memory of Margaret Manson, beloved wife 
of the Rev. William Brown, minister of the Free 
Church, Rayne. Born October 13th, 1831, she 
died in faith October 8th, 1864. And the said 
Rev. William Brown, for twenty-three years 
minister of the Free Church of Rayne, who 
died November 27th, 1876. aged- 53. 

Rev. Henry Likly, probably a son of 
" Hendrie Likly, Gentleman at Mill of 
Methlick," was for some time schoolmaster 
of that parish. (Poll Book.) He held the 
pastorate of Meldrum for 54 years. He 
married on 16th January, 1714, Janet 
Milne, daughter of the then deceased James 
Milne of Blairton, and died 9th July, 
1760, in his 96th year. They had a family 
of at least two sons : John, the succeeding 
minister of Meldrum ; and James, who be- 
came a merchant there. Although most 
worthy, Mr Likly had an eccentric and 
somewhat blunt manner. Traditions of his 
sayings and doings still lurk in. the district . 
It is alleged that when preaching one Sun- 
day he suddenly paused, and then called 
out to the beadle — " Tammas, pit oot that 
dog, for he's like to gar me lauch. gapin' 



an' gashin' there at the fleas I Pit him oot, 
man, an' dinna miss a thud till ye hae him 
bye Luckie Foolie's door, an' haste ye back 
to the worship! " A somewhat similar 
version of this story is given in the late 
Rev. Dr Paul's " Past and Present of Aber- 

Rev. John Likly married Barbara Wight. 
She survived him, and died at Pittodrie on 
22nd April, 1792. 

Rev. James Likly, grandson of Rev. 
Henry Likly, was for some time minister 
at Campvere, but, with many of his con- 
gregation, was obliged to fly on the 
approach of the invading French. He was 
admitted to Meldrum on 18th March, 1801, 
and died, unmarried, on 8th December, 
1816, in his 57th year. (Scott's Fasti.) 

Mrs Margaret Manson or Brown (Ins. 2) 
was a daughter of the late Alexander 
Manson of Kilblean, and a sister of Mr J. 
B. Manson, the present proprietor. 

Another tombstone bears a Latin in- 
scription, which may be translated — 

Here lie the remains of James Rainy, 
minister of the word of God at Meldrum, who 
died 1st May, 1800, in the 36th year of his age, 
and the 7th of his ministry. 

His wife, Mary Turner, caused this monu- 
ment to be erected. 

Rov. James Rainy, M.A., prior to his 
appointment to Meldrum parish, acted for 
six years as missionary at New Byth. He 
was admitted to Meldrum, 1st May, 1799, 
and died on the same day of the following 
year. His wife was the eldest daughter 
of John Turner, of Turnerhall, and 6he 
afterwards married Rev. Robert Arthur of 

In a railed-in space beside the south wall 
are two tablets, which bear the following 
inscriptions — 


Here are interred the mortal remains of 
James Garioch of Gariochsford, who died on 
the 25th of August, 1818. and of his spouse, 

Jane Gordon, who died on the 18th of 
December, 1817, and of their daughter, 
Elizabeth, who died on the 14th of March, 

In memory of Margaret Wilson, wife of the 
Rev. George Garioch, minister of the Free 
Church, Oldmeldrum, who died on the 26th 
day of September, 1858, in the 54th year cf 
her age ; also of the said Rev. George Garioch, 
who fell asleep in Jesus on the 12th of May, 
1872, in the 79th year of his age, and 66th of 
his ministry. 

"He being dead yet epeaketh." 

" We are ambassadors of Christ as though 
God did beseech you by us, we pray you in 
Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." 

The surname Garioch is a very old one 
in the parish. In 1609, Alexander Garioch 
is designed as " of the Kirktown of Bath- 
elnie." (Antiq., IV., p. 147.) James 
Garioch, the proprietor of Gariochsford — a 
property in the parish of Forgue — was for 
upwards of forty years a successful sur- 
geon in Oldmeldrum. He married, on 
19th November, 1789, Jane Gordon, who 
belonged to Cabrach. (Cabrach Registers.) 
He died at Milton of Durno, on 25th 
August, 1818, in his 78th year. A daugh- 
ter, Isobella, became the wife of Rev. 
Robert Shepherd, minister of Daviot, and 
died at Linton on 6th December, 1841, in 
the 72nd year of her age. They had a 
large family, two of whom — John and 
Thomas— were in the H.E.I.C.S., the 
former being for some time chairman of 
the board of directors, while the latter be- 
came laird of Kirkville, in Skene. Another 
daughter, Mary, who died in 1866, aged 
76, was the wife of Rev. William Grant, 
minister of Duthil. (Tombstone at Aber- 
lcur.) Rev. George Garioch, M.A., son 
of Dr Garioch, was ordained minister of 
the parish of Meldrum on 29th October, 
1817, but seceded at the Disruption, and 
became minister of the Free Church. 
Being possessed of considerable means, he 

D 2 



was a liberal contributor to tbe funds of 
that church. On completing the fiftieth 
year of bis ministry, special jubilee ser- 
vices were hold, when he was presented 
with valuable gifts " as a zealous pastor, 
a kind friend, a judicious counsellor, and a 
sound interpreter of evangelical doctrine." 
(Scott's Fasti.) A memorial tablet in com- 
memoration of the interesting event was 
also erected in the lobby of the church. 
His wife was the youngest daughter of 
James Wilson of Auchaber. 

A railed-in grave next the wall has a 
mural stone inscribed — 

In memory of Thomas George Easton, infant 
son of Rev. J. C. Easton, minister of Meldrum ; 
born and died June, 1854. Also dedicated to 
the memory of the Rev. James C. Easton, born 
19th October, 1822, died 24th October, 1876, 
M.M.E. ; ordained minister of the South 
Church, Kirriemuir, in 1846: translated to 
Meldrum in 1852. Also of his wife, Marion 
Montgornerie Loudon, who was lost 28th 
December, 1879, in the Tay Bridge disaster. 
1st Cor. 2nd chap. 2nd verse. 

Rev. James Cruickshank Easton, M.A., 
was the son of Rev. Dr Easton, minister 
of the North Church, Kirriemuir. In 
1854, he married Marion M. Loudon, 
daughter of Rev. James Loudon, minister 
of Inverarity, Forfarshire. The demise of 
the worthy couple, as stated upon the 
tablet, caused deep regret throughout the 
parish. Their son, Harry Montgornerie, 
M.A., is a Writer to the Signet in Edin- 

On a headstone — 

In memoriam. Robert, second son of Rev. 
R. Urquhart, M.A. Born in Botriphnie, 
November 7, 1873; died at Oldmeldrum, 
September 25, 1884. 

The ministerial succession in Rev. Robert 
Urquhart's family is so remarkable that 
the following brief particulars cannot but 
prove interesting. His great-great-grand- 
father was David Urquhart, farmer, Kin- 

craigie, thereafter in Kinstair of Alford, 
who died 13th October, 1789, aged 57 
years. David Urquhart's son — Rev. Alex. 
Urquhart — was minister of the parish of 
Tough, and died 8th February, 1832, aged 
72 years. The eldest son of the latter was 
Rev. Robert Urquhart, Licentiate of the 
Church of Scotland, and medical 
practitioner, first in Alford and then in 
Keith, who died 22nd November, 1828, in 
his 36th year. The eldest son of the last 
named was Rev. Alexander Urquhart, who 
was ordained to the charge of Sanday. 
Orkney, in July, 1843, translated to the 
Free Church of Old Deer in December, 
1844, and died in November, 1901. The 
only sui-viving son of the latter is Rev. 
Robert Urquhart, who was ordained 
minister of the Free Church, Botriphnie, 
in November, 1869, translated to Woolston, 
Southampton, in January, 1874, and ad- 
mitted to Oldmeldrum Free Church in 
March, 1879. He has two surviving sons, 
Alexander, a doctor in Shepperton-on- 
Thames, near London ; and Rev. William 
Spence Urquhart, who was ordained in De- 
cember, 1902, to the Missionary Professor- 
shiji of English Literature and Philosophy 
in Duff College, Calcutta. It will thus be 
seen that five successive generations of 
Urquharts have been licensed to the 
ministry, which is possibly unique in the 
record of any family in the north-east of 

There is a Latin inscription to the 
following effect on an ornamented marble 
tables tone: — 

In memory of George Cooper, some time 
schoolmaster of Meldrum, who died 10th 
September, 1821, in the 69th year of his age 
and the 41st of his faithfully discharged office. 
This monument was erected by his pupils in 
1823, as a sacred and lasting pledge of love and 
respect on account of the great and unwearied 
care bestowed by him in storing their minds 
with useful knowledge, and fitting them for 
the duties of life. (Jervise's MS.) 



In a railed-in portion are two head- 

In memory of Alexander Mauson, of Oakhill, 
who died 17th March, 1847, aged 77; and of 
Mary Blyth, his wife, who died 10th July, 1861, 
aged 86. Also of their children — Alexander, 
who died in infancy ; Eliza Duguid, who died 
30th July, 1836; Alexander, M.D., who died at 
Jaffa, 9th May, 1841. Margaret Diana, wife 
of George Ehnslie, merchant in Aberdeen, who 
died at Aberdeen, 9th November, 1850 ; and of 
the said George Elmslie, who died there, 30th 
August, 1855. Mary, wife of William Milne, 
surgeon, who died at Aberdeen, 13th November, 
1855, and of the said William Milne, who died 
at Macduff, 26th November, 1839 ; also Agnes, 
who died 10th November, 1892, and Christian, 
who died. 14th January, 1893. 

Sacred to the memory of William Connan, 
merchant, Oldmeldrum, and Agnes Manson, his 
wife, and of their daughter Agnes, who died 
5th December, 1882, aged 81, and Jane, who 
died 5th January, 1893, aged 89. 

" And that rock was Christ." 

Erected by Mrs Agnes Smith, Aberdeen, in 
remembrance of her grandparents and aunts. 

Alexander Manson, of Oakhill, was 
brother to John Manson, merchant and 
distiller, who purchased the estate of 
Kilblean. A sister, Agnes Manson, he- 
came the wife of William Connan, 
merchant, Oldmeldrum [Insc. 2], and be- 
sides the two daughters whose names are 
inscribed upon the tombstone, they had 
two sons — John, who died in infancy, and 
William, who became a partner in the 
firm of W r illiam Davidson and Company, 
grocers and wine merchants, Broad Street, 
Aberdeen, which was established in 1790. 
The last-named — W'illiam Connan — 
married Mary, daughter of the said 
William Davidson, and their daughter, 
Agnes Connan, is married to David Smith, 
late stock and share broker, Aberdeen. A 
son of the latter couple — Rev. William 

Connan Smith — is minister of the United 
Free Church, Fyvie. 

On a tablestone — 

In memory of William Gordon, son of James 
Gordon, farmer in Newburgh, who died 4th 
December, 1811, aged 33 years. Also of Mary 
Gordon, spouse to James Henderson, in New- 
burgh, who died 27th November, 1811, aged 27 
yeans. And of the said James Henderson, who 
died 10th May, 1818, aged 42 years. Likewise of 
Ann, daughter of the above William Gordon, 
who died 6th March, 1818, aged 6 years. 

Who'er thou art that tread'st this lonely way, 
Here let thy footsteps for a moment stay ; 
This humble grave, tho' no proud structure 

Yet truth and goodness sanctify the place. 
Yes, blameless virtue that adorn'd thy bloom, 
Lamenting friends now weeps upon thy tomb. 
Escap'd from death. O! safe on that calm 

Where sin and pain and passion are no more. 
Lo ! soft remembrance drops a pious tear, 
And holy friendship sits a mourner here. 

In affectionate remembrance of a much be- 
loved wife and husband, this stone is placed 
here by James Henderson and Christian Gor- 

A tablestone is inscribed — 

Some lovely friend will drop a tear, 
On these dry bones and say, 
These once were strong, but now ly here, 
And mine most be as they. 

Here lies interred the dust of Jannet Watson, 
lawful spouse to Peter Barron in Frosterhill, 
who died the 16th of April, 1772, aged 62 years. 
Likewise Elizabeth Barron, their lawful 
daughter, who died the 27th of September, 
1761, aged 32 years. Death passeth upon all 
men, for all have sinned. The above designed 
Peter Barron, who died the 1st day of July, 
1773, aged 65 years. . . 

"Frosterhill," with its mill and mill 
land, is mentioned in the service of John 
Urquhart, of Meldrum, in 1691. "Fros- 
terhill," Arnage, Clochcan, etc., belonged 
to Provost John Ross, of Aberdeen, who 
died in September, 1714. 



A tablestone bears — 

This stone covers the remains of James Likly, 
merchant in Oldmeldrum, who died the 8th 
May, 1800, aged 80, and of Isabell Simpson, his 
spouse, who died the 3rd September, 1799, aged 
81 years. Also of their eldest son, John Likly, 
late banker in Paisley, whose memory is en- 
deared to all who knew him by a recollection 
of his many amiable qualities, his undeviating 
rectitude, integrity, and beneficence. Ob. 5th 
December, 1814, eetat 64. 

The above James Likly was a son of 
Rev. Henry Likly, minister of the parish, 
as already stated. 

The following three inscriptions are on 
tablestones — 


Here is interred Alexander Ramsay, in- 
dweller in Oldmeldrum, who died March 31st, 
1776, aged 55 years. 

For further honour, claim who can, 
He lived and died an honest man. 

In memory of Elspet Thomson, relict of 
Alexander Ramsay, ob. 6th October, 1795, setat 


Here lies the body of Keith Milne, some time 
in Browniehillocks, who died October 26th, 1789, 
aged 57 years. He was a dutiful husband, a 
loving parent, and a faithful friend. Also the 
body of his spouse, Margaret Gray, who died 
November 15th, 1783, aged 46 years ; and of 
six of their children. 

To the memory of James Forbes, son of 
Alexander Forbes, Apothecary (in Oldmel- 
drum), and Jane Forbes, his wife, who died 
on the 20th of April, 1823, aged XVII. years. 

He died as one who wish'd to die, 
In hopes of heavenly rest, 
T' awake in immortality 
And be supremely bless'd. 

A tablestone is inscribed — 

Erected in February, 1835, by George 
Phillip, merchant, Arbroath, in memory of his 
father, Patrick Phillip, who died on the 9th of 
February, 1806, aged 61 years. Also near this 

spot are interred the mortal remains of four of 
Patrick Phillip's family ; also Jane Chapman, 
spouse of the said Patrick Phillip, who died 
22nd October, 1843, aged 87 years. John 
Phillip, late merchant, Forfar, bom 1787, 
died 1871; Christian Phillip, born 4th July, 
1796, died 5th December, 1877. The above were 
son and daughter of said Patrick Phillip. 

Patrick Phillip and Jane Chapman, re- 
ferred to in the above inscription, were 
the grandfather and the grandmother 
respectively of John Phillip, R.A., of 
whose brilliant talents as a painter Aber- 
deen is justly proud. George and John 
Phillip were his uncles, while Christian 
Phillip was his aunt. 

The following four inscriptions are from 
gravestones in various parts of the old 
ground — 

Under this gravestone are interred the bodies 
of Alexander Simpson, some time wright in 
Oldmeldrum, and Helen Simpson, his wife. He 
departed this life in the month of August, 1735, 
aged 70 years, and she in the end of November, 
1747, aged 66 years. . . . Death gives us a 
profound rest in the bed of the grave from all 
our labours, and all cares and troubles vanish 
as soon as our heads touch that pillow. 

In memory of the sons of Alexander Allan, 
blacksmith, in Oldmeldrum, of John, who died 
15th December, 1808, aged 25 years; also of 
Alexander, who died 31st March, 1810, aged 26 

O, Man of God, thy death how blest, 
How sweet thy journey to the sky ; 

When from life's toils God bade thee rest. 
Ascend the sacred mount and die. 

Here lies the body of George Wilson, late 
Taylor in Oldmeldrum, who departed this life 
22nd January, 1793, aged 39 years. 

Here in the silent grave I lie, 
Free from all pain and grief ; 
'Tho' my disease was long and sharp, 
God sent at last relief. 



His tender love while here below, 
Did often fill my soul ; 
At last my Jesus took me up, 
Where endless pleasures roll. 

Here rest the remains of John Diaok, son of 
John and Mary Diack, in Oldmeldrum, who de 
parted this life 4th August, 1812, aged 17 years. 

While with delighted eye thy parents trao'd 
The growing Virtues which thy Bosom grac'd, 
With flattering voice, Hope seem'd to smile 

and say, 
So fair a morn presag*d a glorious day. 
But, ah ! their expectations soon were cross'd, 
And all their promis'd joys in anguish lost. 
Not long those virtues had on Earth been 

Ere happier Regions claim'd them for their 



The Episcopal Church of Meldrum dates 
back to 1688, but the names of the earlier 
incumbents have not been preserved. The 
oldest of whom record exists — Rev. George 
Walker— grandfather of the Misses Walker, 
who founded St Mary's Cathedral, Edin- 
burgh—was ordained in 1730, and con- 
tinued at Meldrum till about 1786. His 
successor was Rev. Arthur Walker, who 
was followed in 1804 by Rev. Nathaniel 
Grieve. In 1808, Rev. Alexander Walker 
was appointed to the charge along with 
that of Monymusk. He resigned the 
charge of Meldrum about 1811, and Rev. 
William Robertson was elected. A railed- 
in headstone beside the north wall of the 
parish graveyard has been erected to his 
memory — 

In memory of the Rev. William Robertson, 
St Matthew's, Oldxneldrum, who died August, 
1849, in the 39th year of his ministry ; and of 
Rachel Knight, his wife, who died 26th Januarv 

The next incumbent was Rev. Thomas 
Wildman, who was appointed chaplain to 

the Earl of Galloway in 1856. His suc- 
cessor was Rev. James Davidson, who waa 
translated to St Andrew's, Banff, in 1862, 
his successor in the charge at Meldrum 
being Rev. William Young Moir, son of 
Right Rev. David Moir, D.D., Bishop of 
Brechin. It was during the pastorate of 
the last-named that the present substan- 
tial, large, and beautiful church of St 
Matthew's was erected. It was conse- 
crated on St Matthew's Day, 1863, by the 
late Right Rev. Thomas George Suther, 
D.C.L., Bishop of Aberdeen. 

In the neatly kept burial ground many 
interments have taken place. The monu- 
ments are all modern. Two handsome 
flat tombstones, with raised crosses on the 
top, are inscribed respectively — 

John Ramsay of Barra, Esq. Born 3rd 
December, 1831. Entered into his rest 29th 
May, 1895. 

Leonora Sophia, wife of John Ramsay of 
Barra. Born 15th October, 1837. Entered 
into her rest 4th February, 1862. 

The above John Ramsay was the eldest 
son of John Ramsay of Barra and Straloch, 
and his wife, Susan Innes, daughter of 
Alexander Innes of Pitmedden. (See 
Dyce.) Mr Ramsay's wife was Leonora 
Sophia Bond, daughter of Rev. Nathaniel 
Bond, of Creech Grange, Dorset, and 
rector of Steeple with Tyneham, Dorset. 
Their daughter — Mary Agnes Ramsay — 
became the wife of the late Francis Hugh 
Irvine of Drum. 


A triangular corner of the graveyard is 
reserved by the Meldrum family. Within 
it are two handsome monuments, which 
bear the following inscriptions — 

Beauchamp Colclough Urquhart of Meldrum. 



Born May 5th, 1830. Died September 3rd, 

Such trust have we through Christ God-ward. 
2nd Cor. 3-4. 


To the memory of Beauchamp Colclough 
Urquhart of Meldrum, major, Queen's Own 
Cameron Highlanders. Born 20th July, 1860. 
Killed at the battle of the Atbara, Soudan, 8th 
April, 1898, and buried on the field of battle. 

But the end is not yet. Matt. 24 6. 

Thou shalt keep him in perfect peace. . . . 
because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26 3. 

Beauchamp Colclough Urquhart (Ins. 
No 1) was the second son of Beauchamp 
Colclough Urquhart of Meldrum and Byth, 
and of his wife, Anne Jane Fitzsimmons, 
eldest daughter of Patrick Fitzsimmons of 
Streamston, Westmeath. He was for some 
time a lieutenant in the Indian Army. He 
married on 5th August, 1856, Isabella 
Forbes Fraser, daughter of General Sir 
Hugh Fraser, K.C.B., of Braelangwell, 
Ross-shire, and they had a family of one 
son — Beauchamp Colclough Urquhart (Ins. 
No. 2) — and one daughter, Isabel Annie 
Urquhart, who, in 1878, became the wife 
of her cousin, Garden Alexander Duff of 
Hat ton. 

Major Urquhart (Ins. No. 2) was, for 
some time, an A.D.C. to the Earl of Aber- 
deen while Governor-General of Canada. 
With his regiment he took part in the 
march and capture of Tel-el-Kebir. In the 
battle of the Atbara he displayed conspicu- 
ous bravery. When the Dervishes ad- 
vanced with their wild and solid rush, 
determined to sweep everything before 
them, he threw himself in front of his 
men, stimulating them by word and action 
to stand unflurried and firm. His fine 
physique, activity, and prowess drew the 
lances of the enemy upon him, and he 
received a mortal wound. In this trying 
juncture, with his life-blood rapidly ebbing, 
the truly noble spirit of the man, the valour 
of the soldier, and the loyalty of the patriot 

at once became conspicuous, for it is re- 
corded that when the soldiers at hand 
rushed forward to render assistance, he 
gave the final command — "Go on, lads; 
never mind me." 


Prior to 1262 the parish lands belonged 
to Sir Philip de Melgdrum, or Meldrum, 
who married Agnes Cumyn, daughter of 
William, Earl of Buchan. The original sur- 
name of the owner's family was Phendarg 
or Fedarg, but it was changed to that of 
Melgdrum about 1249. Shortly after- 
wards the lands were erected into a 
barony. In 1290, William of Meldrum 
was Sheriff of Aberdeen. (Exch. Rolls, I., 
p. 49.) There were nine or ten successive 
proprietors who bore the surname of 
Meldrum, but the line failed in an heiress 
— Elizabeth de Meldrum, who married 
William Seton, son of Sir Alexander Seton, 
Lord Gordon, and brother of Alexander, first 
Earl of Huntly, and thereby carried the 
barony of Meldrum into the Seton family. 
This William Seton fell at the battle of 
Brechin on 18th May, 1452, when he was 
succeeded by his son, Alexander Seton of 
Meldrum. The property remained in the 
Seton family till the time of William 
Seton, who, marrying Anne, daughter of 
James Crichton of Frendraught, and 
having no family, executed in 1635 a deed 
of entail, under which the family of his 
niece, Elizabeth Seton, who, in 1610, had 
married John Urquhart of Craigston, 
commonly called the Tutor of Cromarty, 
succeeded. Mrs Duff of Hatton, who 
upon the death of her brother, Major 
Urquhart, as above, became proprietrix 
of Meldrum, is a direct descendant of the 
foregoing families. 

The mansion-house is large and com- 
modious. It was added to and " made one 
of the best " by Sheriff James Urquhart 
in the beginning of last century. The 



older families had probably lived within 
the "tower and fortalice," which are 
specially referred to in the Crown 
Charter to Alex. Seton of 15th July, 1587. 
(Great Seal Registei 47, No. 90.) 


The lands of Ardfork and Kiiblean, 
which originally formed part of the Mel- 
drum estates, were mortgaged by Patrick 
Urquhart of Meldrum to Dr William 
Guild, whose widow, Mrs Catherine Hol- 
land or Guild, having acquired the neces- 
sary title, mortified them, with other 
lands, in 1659, for the support of bursars, 
burgesses, widows, maidens, and poor of 
Aberdeen. (Aberdeen Mortifications, p. 
135.) Kilbleau was acquired by John 
Mausou, who died upon 4th October, 1838, 
in his 77th year. He was succeeded in 
that property by his eldest sou, Alexander 
Manson, while his youngest son, John Man- 
sou, agent for the British Linen Company 
Bank, Aberdeen, acquired the estate of 
Fingask, in the neighbouring parish. A 
son of the latter, Dr Patrick Manson, is a 
graduate aud LL.D. of Aberdeen Univer- 
sity. He is recognised as an expert in 
tropical diseases, and for his special 
studies and research in that department 
was recently made a Knight Commander 
of St Michael and St George. 


Of natives who have attained distinction 
in various walks of life may be mentioned 
William Forsyth, F.L.S., the arboricul- 
turist, who was born at Oldmeldrum in 
1737. In 1771, he was appointed to the 
charge of the botanical gardens at Chelsea, 
and, thirteen years later, George III. made 
him chief superintendent of the Royal 
Gardens at Kensington and St James's. 
For his discovery of a composition to 
remedy the injuries and diseases incidental 
to fruit and forest trees, he secured a Par- 

liamentary grant. His name is per- 
petuated by the plant " Forsythia." 

Dr George Watt, who was born in Old- 
meldrum in 1851, was for some time 
assistant Professor of Botany in Aberdeen 
University, thereafter Professor of Botany 
in Calcutta University, and for the past 
sixteen years has been reporter on economic 
products to the Government of India. He 
was made CLE. in 1886, and in 1903 
received the honour of knighthood. In 
1904 he was given the degree of LL.D. 
by the University of Aberdeen. He is 
the author of a dictionary of the Econo- 
mic Products of India, a work in nine 
volumes, " distinguished alike by scientific 
eruditon and by vast industry." 


Oldmeldrum was originally a burgh of 
Barony — its charter as such being dated 
1672. The village itself was founded in 

Thomas Kirk, in the narrative of his tour 
in Scotland in 1677, says— 

We intended to have lain at the Laird of 
Meldrum's house, but a mile before we came 
there, we understood he was not at home, and 
we were forced to take up at that poor village 
called Oklnieldrum, but we got 1 wine, ale, and 
bread from the laird's house. . . . Near this 
Meldrum's house we saw a gibbet or gallows, 
and Mr Merris informed us that most barons 
had one near their houses, having power to 
condemn and hang any offender within then- 
liberties, but they usually send them to the 
Sheriff ; we called at the house and drank four 
or five rummers of claret with two ladies there, 
and then we went on our journey. 

The feudal jurisdiction referred to was 
not abolished till after the Union of the 
Parliaments. (Hume Brown's Early 

Travellers in Scotland.) 

The foregoing stricture upon the village 
seems to be as inaccurate as were the prints 
circulated in England about thirty years 
ago showing Aberdeenshire men wearing 



short kilts and growing bushy beards and 
long red hair. At all events, the entries 
in the Foil Book prove that within nine- 
teen years after Kirk's visit the village had 
sixteen merchants, several of whom had a 
stock of the value of between 500 and 5000 
merks — a considerable sum in those clays. 
Besides, it contained ten cordiners, to say 
nothing of a gunsmith, a notary public, 
and a " chamberland and gentleman" ! 
By the end of the following century the 
town became the centre of an extensive 
cattle trade, and its success at the present 
time depends largely upon the fine sur- 
rounding agricultural district. It is 
thoroughly healthy, and, having a high 
situation, commands extensive views. The 
dwelling-houses are of a superior build, 
and there are a commodious Town Hall, 
distillery, branch banks, etc. It forms the 
terminus of a branch of the Great North 
of Scotland Railway. 


A chapel dedicated to the Virgin at one 
time stood beneath the house of Meldrum, 
where the Ladywell was for long frequented 
in the month of May for cure of headache. 
Urns, bones, and other relics of antiquity 
have been unearthed at different times. 
Till the last century the remains of an old 
Roman encampment were visible upon the 
farm of Bethelnie. 


The parish in former times bore various 
names, including St Colm's, St Comb's, 
Longmay, Longmey, Lonmey, and Lon- 
may. The two first-named titles were 
from St Columba, to whom the church had 
been dedicated, while the four last were 
derived from a compound Gaelic word 
signifying the long tract. 

The church originally stood near the 
seaside, within the graveyard of St 
Combs. It was formerly a prebend of 
Aberdeen, being added to the chapter of 
that city in 1314 by Bishop Henry Cheyne. 
(Regist. Epis., Aberd. II., p. 252.) The 
church was removed from St Combs, in 
1608, to a site close by the public road, 
about two miles farther inland. The 
history of that building — known as Lon- 
may Parish Church — is given in an in- 
sciiption upon a small slab built into the 
wall — 

This house was built for the worship of God 
by the parish of Longmey, 1607, Mr Tho. 
Rires being minr. then, and 3 years before at 
the old church. After him, Mrs Wm. Rires, 
Ja. Irvine and Io. Houston were minrs. suc- 
cessively, next Mr Tho. Gordon we* ordained 
minr. of the Gospel at Longmey by the Pres- 
bytery of Deer, wt consent of all conserned in 
this parish, September 24, 1709. The roof and 
dycks of this church were rebuilt by the here- 
tors, 1714; the forewall, 1732. The bell was 
bought by people, sess., and minr., 1727. Soli 
deo gloria. 

The slab referred to superseded, in 1732, 
an older one bearing the same inscription, 
which bad been fixed " above the big 
door" of the church. (New Statis. Ac- 

The incumbents who held office from 
1604 to 1744 are recorded in the above in- 
scription. The predecessor of Rev. 
Thomas Rires seems to have been Rev. 
Duncan Dauidsone, who held office for 
some years after 1583. 

Only three parish ministers are com- 
memorated by tombstone inscriptions. 

A tablestone bears — 

This stone is erected in memory of the Rev. 
John Lundie, who was minister of Lonmay for 
upwards of 54 year6, and died April 28th, 1807. 
aged 82. 

And of his wife, Mary Forbes, youngest 
daughter of the late Thos. Forbes, Esq. of Echi, 
who died April 5th, 1798, aged 77. 


Also of Elspet Sharp, his grandmother, who 
died in October, 1762, aged 90. And of Anna 
Farquharsou, her eldest daughter, mother to Mr 
Lundie. who died February 10th, 1780, aged 76. 
And of Isabel Farquhanson, her younger 
daughter, who died April 5th, 1779, aged 75. 
Also of Katharine Lundie, younger daughter of 
Mr Lundie, who died August 9th. 1809, aged. 

And of Margaret Lundie, his eldest daughter, 
who died September 17th. 1816, aged 61. 

Dr Scott describes Rev. John Lundie as 
having been " a respectable divine, and a 
correspondent of Dr James Beattie." He 
was a son of John Lundie, Inverurie, and 
a graduate of Marischal College. 

A tablestoue bears the inscription — 
To the memory of the Reverend Hugh 
Shearer, some time minister of this parish, who 
departed this life 22nd February, 1810, in the 
70th year of his age. 

Rev. Hugh Shearer, M.A., for a con- 
siderable period acted as assistant at 
Cairnie, and also at Bellie — his admission 
to Lonmay taking place on 31st March, 
1808. He thus held the pastorate for 
less than two years. His presentation to 
Lonmay was made by Thomas Gordon of 
Buthlaw and Cairness as a temporary ar- 
rangement pending the licensing and 
settlement of the patron's close friend and 
college companion. Charles Gibbon. 

A railed-in space, with granite front and 
arched entrance, having a cross on top, 
contains two marble tablets — 

In memory of the Rev. Charles Gibbon, D.D., 
minister of Lonmay for nearly 61 years. Born 
20th November, 1789 ; died 5th February. 1871 ; 
and buried here beeide his wife. Ann Duff, born 
17th November. 1787 ; died 11th December, 1867. 
She was eldest daughter of the Rev. Robert 
Duff. D.D., minister of King-Edward, and of 
Janet Turing, his wife. Robert' Turing Gibbon, 
born, 1827. died at Aberdeen 10th August, 1895. 
Charles William Gibbon, eldest son, born 
September 13th, 1820; died August 30th, 1899. 


Their children Thomas, born 25th March, died 
August, 1818. Robina, born 16th March, 1824; 
died 28th November, 1825. Amelia Ann Turing, 
born 8th September, 1822; died about 15th 
June, 1836, were buried here. 

Maria Gibbon, wife of Major-General 
Christopher Fagan, H.E.I.C.S.. born 2nd De- 
cember. 1815 ; died 5th November, 1847, was 
buried beside her husband at Pau, in France. 

In addition to the foregoing particulars, 
it may be stated that Rev. Dr Gibbon was 
a son of William Gibbon, juu., one of a 
family long engaged in the shipping trade 
of Aberdeen. His foresight and zeal led 
to the establishing, by the General As- 
sembly, of a Supplementary Orphan Fund 
in connection with the Ministers' Widows' 
Fund. A son, William Duff Gibbon, be- 
came an estate agent in Ceylon, and was 
for some time a member of the Legislative 
Council. Another — Charles W. Gibbon — 
presented to the kirk-session three mo- 
morial Communion silver salvers, in- 
scribed — 

Presented, with two similar plates, to the 
kirk-eession of Lonmay in memory of Charles 
Gibbon, D.D., minister of the parish from 3rd 
May, 1810, until his death, 5th February, 1871, 
by his son, Charles W. Gibbon. 

Annie Grace, the youngest daughter, 
married R. B. Tytler, Ceylon, whom she 
survived. She died at Stonehaven on 
23rd October, 1904, aged 74. 

Dr Gibbon was succeeded, in 1871, by 
Rev. Archibald Alexander Campbell, as- 
sistant to Dr Norman Macleod, Glasgow. 
Three years later he was transferred to 
Crathie, when Rev. James, M.A., 
was ordained. In 1878, he removed to 
Rosemount, Aberdeen, and thence, in 
1881, to St Stephen's, Broughty-Ferry, 
where he still ministers. He had the de- 
gree of D.D. in 1903. Rev. James 
Forrest, M.A., the first minister of Barthol 



Chapel quoad sacra parish, was elected to 
the vacancy. He had D.D. in 1907. 

A more commodious parish church was 
erected in 1787 on a site close to the 
public road, and about a quarter of a 
mile from the older edifice and graveyard. 
It is still in use, and, being surrounded by 
trees, has a picturesque appearance. 


In the fourteenth century, the lands of 
Lonmay were owned by the family of 
Montford — cadets of the powerful Mont- 
fords, of whom was Simon de Montfort, 
Earl of Leicester, who has sometimes been 
erroneously credited with the creation of 
representative institutions in England. 
According to Burke, Irvine of Drum 
married, first, a daughter of the Earl 
Marischal, and, secondly, a daughter of 
Montford of Lonmay. Through the latter 
marriage the lands of Lonmay are under- 
stood to have passed to the Irvines, who 
retained them for a lengthened period. 
The Montfords thus disappear as pro- 
prietors in Aberdeenshire, but about three 
centuries later, and under amusing cir- 
cumstances, the surname again crops up 
in Belhelvie. (See Belhelvie.) 

In 1452, James II. ordered Sasine to be 
given to Alexander Irvine, son and heir- 
apparent of Alexander Irvine of Drum, 
and to Janet Keith, his wife, of the lands 
of "Lunmey," Savoch, Corskelly, Cair- 
ness, etc. 

Later, Lonmay was held by the Hon. 
Patrick Ogilvy, who was also proprietor 
of Inchmartin. He was the second son 
of James, third Earl of Kindlater, and 
married Elizabeth, daughter of the Hon. 
Francis Montgomerie of Giffen, son of 
Hugh, fieventh Earl of Eglinton. 
(Family of Seton, II., pp. 683-84.) In 
1708, lie was elected representative for the 
Elgin Burghs in the first British Parlia- 

ment. His arms, etc., with those of his 
lady, are displayed upon the pillars of the 
entrance gate to the parish graveyard. 
They are now considerably defaced. 

In 1718, Lonmay was purchased by the 
Hon. James Fraser, third son of William, 
eleventh Lord Saltoun. He married Lady 
Eleanor Lindsay, daughter of Colin, Earl 
of Balcarres, and died 10th August, 1729. 
They had a son, William, but he died in 
early manhood. The estate was sold by 
Lady Eleanor to William Moir of White- 
hill, Midlothian, and his son William 
upon 7th December, 1731. (Frasers of 
Philorth, II., p. 155.) 

William Moir of Whitehill was the 
eldest son of James Moir, II. of Stoney- 
wood, by his second wife, Jean, daughter 
of Alexander Abernethy of Mayen. He 
married a. sister of General Fullerton of 
Diidwick, and besides the son William 
already mentioned, they had three 
daughters, Isabella, Catherine, and Jean, 
wife of William Cumine of Pitullie. 

William Moir, senior, was an ardent 
Jacobite, and took up arms for the Stuarts 
in '45. He was appointed by Lord Lewis 
Gordon as Deputy-Lieutenant and Gover- 
nor of the city of Aberdeen. He seems 
to have been zealous in raising soldiers 
and directing their - movements, as well 
as in " collecting the revenues of Excise 
and Custom and the Land Tax." 
William Moir, junior, subsequently suc- 
ceeded. He married Wortley, eldest 
daughter of James Stuart of Blairhall, 
and had a family of two sons and three 
daughters — William, James, Mary, Mar- 
garet, and Anne. Mr Moir afterwards 
purchased the estate of New Grange, For- 
farshire. In 1768, he sold Lonmay to 
Alexander Garden of Troup, whose 
brother, Lord Gardenston, afterwards be- 
came proprietor. In 1796, the property 



was sold to Charles Gordon of Buthlaw, 
in Longside. 


Mr Gordon and two subsequent pro- 
prietors of Lonmay and Cairness are com- 
memorated by a tablestone and a large 
ornamental monument with tablets, within 
an enclosure in the reserved grounds of 
the Parish Church. The inscriptions 
are — 

Charles Gordon. Esq. of Buthlaw, died 26th 
January. 1796, aged 47. Christian Forbes, his 
spouse, daughter of Thomas Forbes, Esq. of 
Ballogie, died 31st May, 1801, aged 40. Charles 
William Gordon, their son. died April 8th, 1800, 
aged 8 years. And their eldest son, the last 
of the family, Thomas Gordon. Esq. of Buth- 
law. Major-General in the Greek .service, died 
in Cairness 20th April, 1841. aged 52. 

Alexandrina Jane Gordon died 15th February, 
1882. aged 57 years, wife of James Wilkinson 
Gordon of Cairness and Georgia, Jamaica, 
died 18th September, 1886. aged 62 years. Also 
Aimee Matilda, their second daughter, died 
4th December, 1862. aged 10| months. 

(Three Scriptural texts are quoted.) 

Thomas Gordon (Ins. 1) had a dis- 
tinguished career. He was born at 
Cairness on 8th December, 1788, and 
educated at Eton, Aberdeen, and Oxford. 
He travelled extensively, and became an 
expert linguist. After serving for a time 
as an officer in the British and Russian 
services, he threw himself vigorously into 
the struggle for Greek independence. He 
advanced money for the prosecution of the 
war, and acted as major-general in the 
Greek Army. He held the command of the 
expedition for the relief of Athens, and 
defeated the Turks with great slaughter at 
Port Phalerus, after which he was ap- 
pointed Director-General of Ordnance. As 
an antiquary, numismatist, and historian, 
he attained considerable distinction. In 

1833, he published an exhaustive history of 
the Greek Revolution. He died in 1841, 
at the age of 52, and was succeeded in the 
possession of Lonmay and Cairness by 
James Wilkinson Gordon (Ins. 2). These 
Gordons claimed descent, through Charles 
Gordon of Buthlaw, from Thomas Gordon 
of Seggieden, said to be the eighth son, or 
according to Douglas (Baronage), the sixth 
son of James Gordon, laird of Lesmoir. 
(Wimberley's Lesmoir, p. 81.) Upon Cair- 
ness there is a very fine mansion house, 
which was completed in 1799, after plans 
by James Playfair. It is in the Grecian 
style of architecture, and its construction 
cost about £30,000. Dr Skene Keith, 
writing in 1811, describes it as " both the 
largest and best house belonging to any 
private gentleman in the county." (Agri- 
cultural Survey, p. 124.) 


In the wall of the old church is a tablet 
bearing an inscription as follows — 

Heb. ix. 27. It is appointed for men once 
to die. 

Within this wall lies interred William 
Abernethy of Crimonmogate, Esq., who de- 
parted this life 13th June, 1744, aged 63; also 
James, Thomas, Jean, and Elizabeth Aber 
nethys, children procreate betwixt him and 
Helen Gordon, his spouse, who died September, 
19th, 1780, aged 80 years, and is also interred 

Particulars regarding Crimonmogate and 
its various proprietors will be found in the 
article on Crimond. 


A tablestone bears — 

To the memory of James Cumine of Kinin- 
month, who died May, 1803, aged 67. 

Also of May Ferguson, his spouse, who died 
November, 1770, aged 34 years, and of Eliza- 
beth, Charles, and Sophia Cumine, their 
children, who all died young. As also of 
Charles Cumine of Kininmonth, father of the 



said decease James Cumine, who died anno 
1764. aged 57. And of Hay Cumine, Kis 

daughter, and Alexander Cumine, his brother, 
both long since deceased, all interred in this 

This stone is erected by Alexander Russel of 
Moncoffer and Margaret Cumine, his spouse, 
daughter of the above-mentioned James 
Cumine. 1822. 

The lands of Kininmonth were for a time 
in the hands of a branch of the Gordons, 
and thereafter of the Hays of Delgaty. In 
1584. William Hay of Delgaty granted a 
charter to Elizabeth Keith, elder daughter 
of Robert Keith, Commendator of Deir, in 
life rent, and to Alexander Hay, his elder 
son and heir-apparent, of the said lands, 
including Mill of Perskow or Denend. 
(Reg. Mag. Sig. V., 1626.) 

William Hay of Delgaty and Kininmonth 
played an important part as agent and 
counsel for Bothwell when charged with 
the murder of Darnley. He espoused the 
cause of Montrose, and was present at the 
defeat at Invercharron. He was cap- 
tured and beheaded 7th June, 1650. 
Shortly afterwards Kininmonth is found in 
the possession of the Cumines, a branch of 
the original Buchan family of that sur- 
name. Gavin Cumine — the first of the 
new sept — married Katherine, daughter of 
John Hay of Seafield — the dowry of the 
bride being one thousand pounds Scots. 
John Cumine, their son, succeeded. He 
married Mary Keith, of the Marischal 
family, and their son Charles became laird, 
and married Sophia, daughter of James, 
15th Lord Forbes. He rebuilt the mansion 
house of Kininmonth, in 1740. Five years 
later he and his brother Alexander joined 
the "rebels" at Edinburgh, but through 
the intervention of powerful relatives were 
afterwards pardoned. Charles Cumine 
died in 1764, and was succeeded by his son 
James, who married May Ferguson of 
Kinmundy, who died in 1770 at the age 
of 34, as stated in the above* inscription. 

In 1792, Margaret Cumine, elder daughter 
of this marriage, married Alexander 
Russell, son of Russell of Montcoffer, and 
thereby carried the pi-operty to the Russell 
family. The present proprietor is Major- 
General F. S. Russell, C.M.G., of Aden. 

Many of these particidars were contri- 
buted by Rev. Andrew Chalmers, Wake- 
field, who also generously allowed extracts 
to be taken from his very complete sketch, 
"The Manor of Kininmonth." 


A. headstone at a railed-in grave is in- 
scribed — 

In memory of William Shand of Craigellie, 
Esq., who died April 28, 1871, aged 64. Also 
of Helen Duncan, daughter of the above, and 
of Frances Mary, his wife: born February 24, 
1856: died March, 18, 1859. 

Also of Anne Elizabeth, their daughter ; 
born September 5, 1857 ; died April 2, 1861. 

Also of Edward Erskine Tustin, their son : 
born January 23, 1849 ; died August 7, 1869. 

Also of Clementina Seppings, their daughter ; 
born January 7, 1844 : died in Edinburgh 
November 8, 1876. 

Also of Ann Brown, for 25 years nurse in the 
family of the above, who died January 9, 1868. 
aged 56. 

The estate of Craigellie was for long in 
possession of the Shand family, the heads 
of which were closely identified with the 
municipal and business affairs of Banff. 
The immediate progenitor was James 
Shand, born 1679 (died 5th March, 1736), 
for some time Provost of Banff, who, in 
1709, married Janet, daughter of 
Alexander Leslie of Kininvie and of his 
wife, Janet Hamilton. His son James 
Shand of Craigellie, for some time Provost 
of Banff, married, in 1762, Margaret Calder 
(widow of John Russell of Rathen, second 
son of Patrick Russell of Montcoffer), 
oldest daughter of Sir Thomas Calder of 
Muirtown, Bart. He died 10th December, 
1795, aged 84, his wife having predeceased 



him on 11th July, 1770, aged 56. In 1767. 
their son, William Shaud of Craigellie, 
married Helen Ogilvie, daughter of 
William Ogilvie, merchant, Banff. He 
was Provost of Banff for three separate 
terms, and died in 1810, aged 70, survived 
hy his wife, who died on 26th April, 1819, 
aged 78. A daughter, Helen, died 1st 
November, 1834, aged 66. The succeeding 
proprietor was William Shand, who died 
on 11th June, 1848, aged 70. He, in 
turn, was suceeded by his son, William 
Shand, who is commemorated by the above 
inscription, shortly after whose succession 
the estate was broken-up — part being sold 
to the proprietor of Crimonmogate, por- 
tions to different farmers, and the re- 
mainder to John Henderson Milne, son of 
the late George Milne of Kinaldie. Mrs 
William Shand still survives, and is re- 
sident in Edinburgh, while a son, John L. 
Shand, resides at Craigellie, West Dul- 
wich. The last-named obligingly furnished 
many of these particulars. 


A tablestone within an enclosure bears 
the following inscription — 

To the memory of George Lumsden Shirrefs, 
of Blairmormond, who died 25th April, 1830, 
aged 81 years. And of Margaret Smith, his 
spouse, who died 28th October, 1839, aged 77 

Also of Isabella, their eldest daughter, who 
died on 24th April. 1842, aged 47 years. Also 
of John, their eldest son, who died on 11th 
May, 1852, aged 57 years. Also of Alexander, 
their second son, who died on the 9th day of 
December, 1853, aged 56 years. Also of Shirrie 
L. Shirrefs, their youngest daughter, who died 
on the 16th February, 1870. aged 72 years. 

Blairmormond, or Blairmormonth, and 
Knowsie, form a compact and nicely- 
wooded estate of about 1000 acres, situated 
close to the Lonmay railway station. For 
several years before 1700 it was in the 
possession of Jamee. Earl of Erroll. Lord 

High Constable of Scotland, who sold it to 
Alexander Gordon of Logie, whose son 
Robert succeeded. (See Crimond.) John 
Russell, merchant, Banff, purchased the 
estate, and was succeeded therein by his 
son Thomas, who sold it to Alexander 
Russell of Montcoffer and George Aber- 
crombie, yr. of Birkenbog. These gentle- 
men, in 1797, sold it to John Lumsden of 
Towie in Clatt, son of John Lumsden in 
Ardhuncart, and of his wife, Helen 
Shirrefs. He died in 1799, aged 84, 
having entailed the estate on George 
Barclay, second son of Thomas Barclay, 
farmer, Letterbeg, Strachan, and of his 
wife, Margaret Lumsden, the testator's 
sister. Mr Barclay thereupon assumed 
the surname of Lumsden Shirrefs as above. 
He acted, for a lengthened period, as 
factor on the estate of Cairness. He was 
uncle of George Barclay, builder, Cults, 
whose son, the late James William Barclay, 
purchased the estate of Glenbuchat. 

The above Shirrie L. Shirrefs— to whom 
Knowsie ultimately fell — had an adopted 
daughter — Barbara Shirrefs Smith or 
Shirrefs — who married the late James 
Francis Gordon Shirrefs-Gordon of Craig. 
Miss Shirrefs left the life-rent of the estate 
to Mrs Gordon, and entailed the property 
on that lady's second son, John Lumsden 
Shirrefs Gordon Lumsden Shirrefs, who, 
having secured disentail, sold the estate in 
August, 1898, to William M'Connachie, 
shipowner and merchant, and some time 
Provost of Fraserburgh. 


An old stone is inscribed 

Sacred to the memory of a Presbyter of the 
Church of Scotland, for the qualities that con- 
stitute real worth and adorn the pastoral 
character, esteemed by his friends, rever'd by 
his brethren, beloved by his flock, respected 
even by strangers. This stone covers the body 
of the Reverend Mr John Jaffray. Died Sep- 
tember, 1768. in the 70th year of his age. and 



41st of his ministry. (The remainder is in 
Latin, which may be translated.) 

While piety and the love divine of rectitude 
are cultivated, while Scotland holds fast her 
ancient faith, such a man will a sacred band 
delight to call brother, such a man will latest 
posterity praise. 

Rev. John Jaffray was the first Episcopal 
minister of Lonmay after the establishment 
of Presbyterianism. He possessed con- 
siderable means, and purchased the estate 
of Park, which formed part of Blairmor- 
mond. The "Scot's Magazine," which 
records Mr Jaff ray's death as occurring on 
10th September, 1768, states that his 
"meeting house had not been duly 
entered," and that as a successor was about 
to be elected, the sheriff-depute, attended 
by his officers, went ' ' and shut up the 
house" till caution for £100 had been 
found that no Episcopal minister should 
officiate therein without registration and 
qualifying by taking the oath to the 
Government, and by praying for the King 
by name, and also for the Royal Family. 

A tables tone beside the old church wall 
is inscribed — 

To the memory of the Reverend William 
Sangster, who was 57 years Episcopal clergy- 
man of Lonmay, and died January 4 A.D., 1826, 
aged 81 years. 

Mr Sangster succeeded Rev. John 
Jaffray, and at the time of his death 
was Dean of the Diocese. He was prob- 
ably the last clergyman in the north to 
suffer under the penal laws against Epis- 
copacy. He was put upon trial for offi- 
ciating to more than four persons at one 
time, and suffered imprisonment for 
several months 


A wall-stone close to the entrance gate 
bears — 

To the memory of William Robertson, some 
time an officer in the British. Army abroad, and 

Militia in Scotland, who died August, 1667, 
aged 50; and of William Robertson, his son, 
some time tenant in Mains, Crimonmogate, who 
died August, 1752, aged 84 

A wall-stone near the entrance gate is 
inscribed — 

Mr John Forbes. Pitnacalder, 

. 1687 . . . 

who dyed . . 

The above John Forbes was the eldest 
son of John Forbes, who (about 1600) came 
into possession of the lands of Pitnacalder 
in the parish of Aberdour. He was 
grandson of William Forbes, laird of Tol- 
quhon, in Tarves, while his mother was a 
daughter of Hay, laird of Burnthill. 
(Lumsden's Gen.) He was served heir on 
1st June, 1631 (Retours), and married 
Christian, daughter of John Johnston of 
Caskieben. Of their family, John died 
early; Alexander became laird of Bal- 
logie , James farmed Bethlem ; George be- 
came minister successively of Portpatrick, 
Innerleithen, and Traquair; Margaret 
married Rev. Alexander Reynold, Aber- 
dour ; and Christian married William 
Forbes in Auchline. (Lumsden's Gen. and 
Troup's MS.) 

A headstone is inscribed — 

Erected by Mary Strachan to the memory of 
her husband Alexander Strachan, fisherman in 
St Combs, who perished at sea on that memor- 
able day, 18th November. 1835. in the 36th year 
of his age. 

Strachans have been fishermen in St 
Combs for at least three centuries. 
Buchan, however, was the chief fisher 
surname in the parish in olden times. In 
1696, there were seven heads of households 
bearing it. (Poll Book.) 

A mural stone, with shield, ornamenta- 
tion, and the initials W. K. and I. D. at 
top, is inscribed — 

Six foot from this ston lyes the body of 
William Keith, some time farmer in Tyaciis- 
nook, who died September 13, 1766, in the 
59th year of his age. Also Iohn and Ianet, 



two of his children, by Ianet Davidson, his 
spouse. Also William Keith, their son, who 
died 29th October, 1816. aged 73. And their 
son Robert, who died 4th September, 1819. 
aged 72. Also Isobel Keith, spouse to the 
last-mentioned William Keith, who died in 
May, 1826. aged 89. Also Mary Keith, 
daughter of the first-mentioned William Keith, 
who died October 8th, 1824. aged 77 years. 

Isobel Keith, who reached the advanced 
age of 89, was the heroine of George 
Halket's well-known ballad " Logie o' 
Buchan." (See Crimond.) The Keiths of 
Tyacksnook were well-to-do farmers, and 
claimed to be descendants of the Marisehal 


A headstone bears — 

Erected by Captain Joiner, of Her Majesty's 
93rd Highlanders, in memory of his father 
James Joiner, who died 10th January, 1841, 
aged 45 years. Also of his mother Elizabeth 
Jack, who died 22nd July, 1853, aged 53 years; 
and his sister Elizabeth, who died 11th March, 
1858, aged 26 years; and Catharine, who died 
12th March, 1858, aged 18 years. 

The career of John Joiner, or Joyner, 
forms a fine illustration of the plodding, 
determined Aberdeenshire man rising 
superior to his environment. Born in the 
most humble station in life, he wrought, 
in early youth, as a farm servant. In 
1840, however, he enlisted as a private in 
the 93rd (Sutherland) Highlanders. 
After serving six years in Canada and 
eight years at home, he embarked with his 
regiment for the Crimea, arriving there 
in September, '54. During the succeeding 
two years he shared in all the hardships 
and difficulties of that memorable cam- 
paign. He took part in the battles of 
Alma, Balaklava (forming one of the 
'Thin red line"), Kertch and Yenikale, 
and Sevastopol. More than once his 
name was favourably mentioned in des- 
patches, and he was rewarded by his 

country with a commission as quarter- 
master. In addition, he received the 
Crimean medal and three clasps for Alma, 
Balaklava, and Sevastopol ; the Turkish 
medal and the French War medal for 
valour and discipline. In June, '57, he 
left with his regiment for China, but the 
Indian Mutiny having in the meantime 
broken out, the force was landed at Cal- 
cutta. Active operations were at once 
commenced to quell the mutineers, and he 
took part in the following actions: — 
Relief of women and children, Lucknow ; 
defeat of Gwalior Force at Cawnpore ; 
battles of Serai Ghat, Kaleh Nuddee ; 
Lucknow Siege; Allygunge, Bareilly, 
Pusgaon, Russelpore, etc. He received 
the Indian Mutiny medal and two clasps 
In March, '70, he returned to Aberdeen, 
and for the next ten years acted as pay- 
master. He attained the rank of lieu- 
tenant-colonel, and retired in October, '80, 
after completing upwards of 40 years of 
meritorious service. He died 2nd Febru- 
ary, 1899, and was buried in Allenvale 
Cemetery, Aberdeen. 

A small freestone mural slab bears — 

Here lyes the body of Mary Davidson, spouse 
to Alex. Henderson, in Kirktoun of Longmey, 
who dyed February 10, 1730, aged 50. 

Also here lyes three of their children. He 
died Agest 12, 1752, aged 83. . . 

A marble tablestone beside the old 
church bears the inscription— 

To the memory of Mr Thomas Hay, who died 
the 18th April, 1772, aged 73 years; and his 
spouse, Jane, who died the 10th August, 1765, 
aged 45 years. 

To the memory of the Rev. James Davidson, 
A.M., who was parochial schoolmaster in Lon- 
may for upwards of 56 years. He died Novem- 
ber 8th, 1840, aged 77 years. And of his wife. 
Janet, the eldest daughter of William and 
Margaret Hay, late of the Kirktown of Crimond. 
who died at the house of her son-in-law, the 
Rev. John Sharp, of New Pitsligo, on the 12th 




day of September, 1854, at the advanced age of 
81 years. . . . 

The above Thomas Hay is understood to 
have been descended from a younger 
branch of the Hays of Erroll. 

Rev. James Davidson was the eldest son 
of James Davidson, farmer, Little Mel- 
drum, Tarves, one of Lord Aberdeen's 
oldest tenants. After graduating at 
King's College, he took to teaching, but 
afterwards qualified as an Episcopal 
minister, and was appointed second 
preacher at St Fergus. As a scholar he 
excelled in Greek and Latin, while as 
schoolmaster of Lonmay he educated the 
sons of the chief proprietors, etc. He 
married Janet, eldest daughter of William 
Hay, farmer and hotelkeeper, Kirktown 
of Crimond, and they had a family of two 
sons and one daughter, viz., John, who 
died in Australia, unmarried ; Margaret, 
who married Rev. John Sharp, New Pit- 
sligo ; and James, born 1816, graduated at 
King's College, 1837, appointed second 
master in Queen Elizabeth's School, King- 
ston-on-Thames, qualified at the Theo- 
logical College, St Bees, ordained to the 
curacy of Ossett, West Riding, Yorkshire, 
elected senior curate of Whitby, and there- 
after in charge of the parish ; he was, in 
1854, appointed vicar of Nafferton, which 
office he held till his death, which occurred 
on 30th June, 1906, in his 91st year. 

On a tablestone — 

Erected in memory of William Willox, late 
merchant in Tillakera, who died February 10th, 
1824, aged 70 yeare. 

And of his wife, Ann Keith, who died August 
2nd, 1823, aged 71 years. Also of their daughter 
Mary, who died April 21st, 1845, aged 47 years. 

The Willox family would seem to have 
tenanted Tillykeira for a lengthened 
period. The above inscription records 
their tenancy in 1824, while the Poll Book 
shows that in 1696 George Willox and his 
son John were then the tenants — the 

former being married to Isobel Jaffray, 
and the latter to Isobel Reid. The name 
of the holding is by no means confined to 
Lonmay. Under different forms of spelling, 
it is believed to be derived from two Gaelic 
words meaning " knoll of the sheep." 
(Macdonald's Place Names, p. 322.) 

A railed-in space with wall at one side 
contains a very old imposing stone, which 
displays, besides other ornamental work, 
two angels blowing trumpets, and the 
inscription — 

All love. All glory be to God. The trumpet 
shall sound and the dead shall be raised in- 
corruptible, (let Cor. xv. 52.) This stone was 
erected by William Cruden. 

Here ly the remains of Iohn Cruden, late 
taylor in Cairness. He dyedl September 5th, 
1699, in the 60th year of his age. And Julia 
Davidson, his spouse, she dyed Aprile 9th, 1720, 
in the 76th year of her age. And William 
Cruden, their eldest son. who d'ied^ 26th Aprile, 
1761, aged 88. . . 

In 1696, the above John Cruden and his 
wife paid 18s of poll. There were then in 
the parish several other families who bore 
the same surname. 

On a tablestone— 

Here lyes the body of Iohn Milne, who dwelt 
in Kern Glace, and died 1 Ianuary 8th, 1719, that 
being the 32nd year of his age. Also the bodies 
of Isobel, Alexander, and Andrew Milns, his 

On a wall stone — 

Sacred to the memory of William Milne, who 
died 12th January, 1819, aged 91 yeara. A 
pattern through life of piety, temperance, 
benevolence, and integrity. Also Isabella, his 
wife, who died 19th October, 1818, aged 80 years. 
Also Jane, their daughter, who died 19th 
October, 1787, aged 25 years. 

The Milues were afterwards well known 
as the tenants of Flushing, near 

A reserved enclosure has two headstones 
inscribed respectively — 



Erected to the memory of George Walker, 
late mason, Newark, who died on the 20th 
June, 1857, in the 75th year of his age. And 
Mary Clark, his wife, who died on the 22nd 
June, 1864, in the 67th year of her age. 

Erected by Alexander and Isabella Walker, 
in memory of their beloved and affectionate 
daughter, Jeannie R. Walker, who died 18th 
June, 1881, aged 19 years. Also Christian 
Isabella Walker, who died 22nd April, 1890, 
aged 14 years. Their son, Charles Henry 
Walker, who died 25th May. 1903, aged 34 

George Walker, Newark, was the father 
of Alexander Walker, referred to in the 
second inscription. The latter, who died 
16th May, 1904, aged 71, was the respected 
postmaster and general merchant at St 
Fergus, and, for many years, did excel- 
lent public service in the district. He 
was chairman of the Parish Council and 
School Board. His son Charles, who was 
trained as a banker, had to relinquish his 
profession through prolonged dishealth. 
Prior to his death, he acted as school 
board clerk and registrar of St Fergus. 



Here lyes lames Cruden, late farmer in 
Strathelly, who died November 9th, 1756, agad 
74. He was of meek and benevolent disposi- 
tion, temperate in all things, aiming always to 
keep a conscience void of offence towards God 
and man. 

In memory of his paternal love and affection 
this stone is erected by his sons — William, in 
Tillykeera, and James, Litster in Pitfour. Also 
Christian Miln, his wife, who died 20th June, 
1768, aged 82. 


Here lies interred the mortal part of William 
Cruden, who died at Blair mo rmount, on the 
8th March, 1808, aged 91 years. With a mind 
improved by education and reading, his con- 
versation was always agreeable, often instruc- 
tive. Making it the constant rule of his life 

to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk 
humbly with his God, he was at once a good 
Christian and an honest man. 

In manners simple, unassuming, and plain, 
he fulfilled the various relations of life with 
affection and sincerity. Reader ! This is not 
flattery, but a tribute justly due to the 
memory of a man whose virtues are not un- 
worthy of thy imitation. 

Underneath this stone is deposited the re- 
mains of William Henderson, of the late farm 
of Greenburn of Crimanmoget, who departed 
this life February 18, 1797, aged 61 years. Also 
Mary, his spouse, died July 23, 1802, aged t3. 
John, their second son, died October 22, 1791, 
aged 14 years. Free from the dream of life, 
this man of care, the tender parent rests and 
friend sincere. They followed virtue as their 
trusting guide. Liv'd like to Christians^-like 
to Christians died. 


To the memory of Andrew Murison, who 
live^ some time at Denhead, in Kininmonth, 
and departed this life November 2nd, 1770, in 
the 65th year of his age. And Isabel Clark his 
spouse, who died January 18th, 1776, aged 69. 
Also their son, James Murison, who died 
January 19th, 1812, in the 74th year of his 


While time doth run, 

From sin depart, 
For none can shun 
Death's piercing dart. 

To the memory of William Ross, who lived 
the most part of his time at Backfolds in 
Kininmonth, and departed this life the 30th of 
August, 1799, in the 77th year of his age. Also 
Margaret Scot, his spouse, who departed 22 
May, 1809, in the 89th year of her age. 

Let worms destroy my wasting flesh, 

And orumble all my bones to dust ; 

My God shall raise my frame anew, 

At the revival of the just. 


Erected by William Willox, in Park, to the 
memory of his wife, Ann Henderson, who died 
May 24th, 1820, aged 28 years. 

E 2 



Stop for a moment, thoughtless passers-by, 
On this memento cast a serious eye. 
'Tho' now a rosy bloom may flush your cheek, 
And youthful vigour may your health bespeak, 
Yet think how soon, like me, you may become, 
In youth's fair prime, the tennant of the tomb. 


The Poll Book shows that in 1696 there 
were resident in the parish, with various 
tradesmen and workmen, 37 heads of 
families working as weavers, 5 as millers, 
14 as shoemakers, 16 as tailors, 28 as 
cottars, while 12 shepherds and numerous 
herds were required to look after the 

Coralhill was the birthplace, in 1797, of 
James Forbes, whose reputation as a local 
painter was enhanced through his having 
acted as the first art teacher of John 
Phillip. In this case the pupil quickly 
outstripped the teacher. 

Particulars respecting the Loch of 
Strathbeg will be found in the article upon 

In Pratt's " Buchan " (Revised Edition), 
Statistical Accounts, Smith's " New His- 
tory of Aberdeenshire," Temple's " Than- 
age of Fermartyn," and Transactions of 
Buchan Field Club, many details are given 
respecting the parish lands and people 
which do not come under the scope of these 


As explained in the preceding article on 
Lonmay, the ancient church, which for- 
merly stood within the graveyard at St 
Combs, was dedicated to St Columba. The 
site was a knoll about 150 yards south from 
the sea. The outside dimensions of the 
church are stated (Pratt's "Buchan," 
Revised Edition, p. 233) to have been 60 
feet by 21, with walls 27 inches in thick- 
ness. Owing to recent improvements being 
carried out on the graveyard, the church 
walls are now almost entirely gone, but 

what remains, having been firmly cemented, 
may be expected to stand intact for many 
years. The churchyard (together with the 
area of the old church) continues to be 
used as a place of interment. 

There is a flat stone bearing the follow- 
ing inscription to a reputed centenarian 
and his wife — 

To the memory of James Carl, some time in 
Seatown of Cairnbulg, who died June, 1761, 
aged cxi. (111). And Iannet Duthie, his spouse, 
who died September 2, 1716, aged 50. . . 

The above James Carl was a fisherman, 
and is understood to have enjoyed good 
health till within a few weeks of his death. 

A tablet of white marble fixed into free- 
stone is inscribed — 

Erected by Christian workers in memory of 
one of God's noble women, Janet Duthie, Cairn- 
bulg, who for 30 years was the hostess of all 
Christian workers who visited our quarter, and 
was called to a higher service 1st September, 
1887. aged 56 years. 

A headstone is — 

Erected by William Strachan, baillie, in St 
Combs, to the memory of his wife, Margaret 
Noble, who departed this life the 20th of 
September, 1823, aged 51 years. 

The aforesaid William Strachan died 15th 
September, 1849, aged 79 years. 

Their son Andrew, fisherman, St Combs, died 
10th June, 1875, aged 84. . . . 

The following inscription commemorates 
a family named Cardno, long tenants in 
Bankhead of Inverallochy — 

This is in memory of John Cardno, who was 
tenant in Bankhead of Inverallochy, who de- 
parted this life the 18th of May, 1784, aged 77 
years. Also Janet Reid, his spouse, who died 
September 20, 1778, aged 57 years. Also Alex. 
Cardno, their son, who died October the 4th. 
1777, aged 21 years. Also Elizabeth Cardnn. 
their daughter, who died September 9, 1816. 
aged 55 years. Also William Cardno, their son. 
who died August 31, 1820, aged 66 years, having 
resided in above farm from his infancy. 



A headstone is inscribed — 

Erected by John Buchan, master mariner, in 
memory of his dear wife. Beattie Stephen, who 
exchanged her earthly decaying tabernacle for 
an eternal mansion of glory, June 18, 1865, aged 
27 years. Of her it may be truly said being 
dead she yet speaketh. To know her was to 
love her. She was a humble follower of the 
Lamb and the graces of His Glorious Character. 
Meekness, gentleness, and kindness shone 
clearly in her. Besides her sorrowing husband, 
she has left two young children to experience 
the loss of a Christian mother's love and care. 
Even so Father, for so it seemed good in Thy 

A headstone bears the following in- 
scription — 

Erected by Andrew Penny of Oruro, Bolivia, 
in filial remembrance of his father, William 
Penny, mason, who died' in New Leeds, 
November 24, 1862, aged 72 years. And of his 
brother, Charles Penny, mason, who died in 
New Leeds, March 27, 1881, aged 52 years. 

Andrew Penny, who erected the above 
headstone, was a successful silver and 
copper mine owner. He was popularly 
known as "The Silver King." In 1888, he 
bought, at the price of £47,000, the beau- 
tiful estate of Park, Drumoak, where he 
intended taking up his permanent resi- 
dence. He died two years later. 

Other headstones record the deaths of 
William Penny, farmer, Tyronhill, after- 
wards at Middle Ardo, Belhelvie, on 28th 
February, 1892, aged 76 ; James Penny, 
Halmoss, Inverallochy, on 4th February, 
1858, aged 74 ; Alexander Penny, Newseat, 
St Fergus, on 20th April, 1869, aged 49 ; 
and of Charles Penny, farmer, Shannas, 
on 12th May, 1886, aged 84. 

A headstone is inscribed — 

Erected by Isabella Duthie, in memory of her 
husband, William Stephen, who was drowned at 
sea, 26th August, 1881, aged 57 years. Also 
their son, James, who died 13th September, 
1886, aged 25 years. And their son, John, who 
died 24th June, 1890, aged 23 years. 

They are now singing the songs of Moses and 
the Lamb with their Father in Heaven. 

A tablestone bears the following in- 
scription of peculiar orthography — 

Erected by Jean May, in memory of her hus- 
band, William Toiylor, white fisher in Cairn- 
bulg, who departed this life October 2, 1810, in 
the 36th year of his adge. Also, ther infants 
children, Mary and Christain. 



Erected by Isabella Dutlhie, in memory of her 
husband, Alexander Buchan, Fisherman, who 
died 13th September, 1856, aged 75 ; also, their 
sons, John and Gilbert. 
You that pass by, you will stop and think, 
For we are in Eternity and you are on the 

Erected by James Carle, in memory of his 
mother, Bettsie Stephen, who died January 6, 
1843, aged 30. . . . 

That bosom where I oft have lain, 
And sleept my infant hours away, 
Will never beat for me again, 
For it is dead and wrapt in clay. 

On the back of this stone are the repre- 
sentation of an angel blowing a trumpet, 
and the inscription — 

The trumpet will sound, and the dead shall 
be raised. 1 Cor. xv. 52. 

Remember man as you pass by, 
As you are now, so once was I, 
As I am now, so must you be, 
Therefore prepare to follow me. 
But, ! when the last conflict's o'er, 
And we are chained to earth no more, 
With what glad accents shall we rise, 
To join the music in the skies. 

1872. Erected by George Stephen, fisherman, 
in memory of his daughters. Also his wife, 
Ann Buchan, who died 7th March, 1903, aged 

Like crowded forest trees we stand, 

And some are marked to fall, 
The axe will smite at God's command, 
And soon shall smite us all. 




The derivation of the name Crimond is 
doubtful, various meanings being assigned, 
such as "the foot of the hill," " the moor 
for cattle," "the cattle mount," "the 
boundary of the moss," etc. 

In the twelfth century, the parish lands, 
with others, were owned by John Cumyn, 
Earl of Buchan, but were confiscated to the 
Crown on the flight of the earl after the 
defeat of his forces at Barra and at Aikey 
Brae in 1308. 

In 1324, Sir Archibald Douglas, brother 
to the good Sir James Douglas, the com- 
panion and trusted friend of Robert Bruce, 
got from that monarch a grant of the lands 
of Crimond, etc., with the power of pit and 
gallows. From time to time numerous 
changes in the ownership have taken place, 
while divisions, sub-divisions, and annexa- 
tions have been frequent. 

In the fifteenth century, various parish 
lands, including Crimonmogate, belonged 
to the Dunbar family, but in 1471 Gilbert 
Hay, brother of William, first Earl of 
Erroll, married Beatrice Dunbar, daughter 
and heiress of Sir John Dunbar of Crimond, 
and thus succeeded to Crimonmogate. 
Four years before this, Hay had received a 
charter to the lands of Urie, and he was the 
founder of the family of Hay of Urie and 
Crimond. He died in 1487, and was suc- 
ceeded by his son, William, who married 
Katherine, daughter of Archibald Rate of 

Notes on the subsequent proprietors, 
down to the end of the seventeenth 
century, will be found in the "Baron 
Court Book of Urie," edited by Rev. D. 
G. Barron, Dunnottar. 

On the outer side of one of the pillars, at 
the entrance gate to the graveyard, are 

slabs bearing a somewhat defaced coat of 
arms of the Hays, and an inscription— 

On the pillar opposite, a bold coat of arms 
is shown, but it also has got considerably 
broken — 

l**s^>->\ -*- 



Mr Jeivise in his MS. says this coat of 
arms had been a carving ' ' of the Hay 
arms, with a coronet, crest, and the sup- 
porters of the Erroll branch." The fore- 
going illustrations are reproduced from 
photographs specially taken for this 
work by Mr W. Scorgie, Schoolhouse, 

It is now impossible to explain for 
what purpose the foregoing had been 
erected, unless it were to perpetuate 
the names of two of the leading 
parish heritors or to record the build- 
ing of the churchyard walls and 
pillars. W. Hay of Wry represents 
William Hay, the last laird of Urie. He 
was the son of John Hay of Urie, whom 
he succeeded in 1607. He married Mar- 
garet, daughter of Sir Alexander Fraser 
of Philorth, and sold Urie to Francis, Earl 
of Erroll, in 1630, and died after 1634. 
(Barron's "Baron Court Book of Urie," 
p. 188.) Considerably before this date, 
Crimonrnogate had been alienated from 
the main branch. The portion of the in- 
scription I. H. OF CRI MO GAT repre- 
sents John Hay of Crimonrnogate, cousin 
of the above William Hay of Urie, and son 
of William Hay of Little Arnage, etc., 
whom he succeeded in 1614. (Ibid. 30, and 
Retours 135.) 

In 1696, Crimonrnogate belonged to Rev. 
William Hay, parish minister of Crimond, 
whose son John, after succeeding to the 
estate, built the old mansion house. (View 
of the Diocese, etc.) The latter became 
embarrassed, and in 1721 the estate is 
mentioned as being in the hands of credi- 
tors. (Ibid 429.) It was then purchased 
by William Abernethy, who died 13th 
June, 1744. (See Lonmay, Peterhead, and 
St Fergus.) Before 1786, it was purchased 
by Alexander Milne, merchant and manu- 
facturer in Aberdeen, and a partner of the 
firm of Gordon, Barron, and Co., and of 
Milne, Cruden, and Co. He married 

Margaret, youngest daughter of Patrick 
(afterwards Sir Patrick) Bannerman, mer- 
chant in Aberdeen, and Provost of the city 
in 1714-15. Of this union two sons, 
Patrick and Alexander, survived. Alex- 
ander Milne, senior, died 11th February, 
1789, and his son Alexander in May, 1800. 
Patrick Milne succeeded, and an obelisk 
erected to his memory within the grounds 
of Crimonrnogate bears the following in- 
scription — 

Erected to the memory of Patrick Milne by 
Charles Bannerman. 

Patrick Milne died 16th May, 1820, aged 65 

Anne Bannerman, wife of Charles Banner- 
man, died 2nd September, 1838, aged 47 years. 

Margaret Bannerman, their eldest daughter, 
died 2nd May, 1833, aged 5 years. Mary 
Elizabeth, their second daughter, died 30th 
August, 1838, aged 8 years. 

Patrick Milne possessed much influence 
and business ability. For a time, from 
1812, he represented the Elgin Burghs in 
Parliament. He bequeathed his estate of 
Crimonrnogate to his relative, Charles, 
afterwards Sir Charles, Bannerman, eighth 
baronet, who married his cousin Anne, 
daughter of Charles Bannerman, advocate, 
youngest brother of the sixth baronet. 

A massive grey granite obelisk erected 
in Crimond graveyard bears the following 
separate inscriptions commemorative of 
him and members of his family — 

Charles Bannerman, VIII. Baronet of 
Elsick, born 18th August, 1782, died in Lon- 
don, 18th June, 1851, aged 68; and Anne 
Bannerman, his wife, born 3rd December, 
1791 ; died at Crimonrnogate, 2nd September, 
1838, aged 47. 

Mary Elizabeth, second daughter of 
Charles Bannerman and Anne Banner- 
man, died at Crimonrnogate, XXX. August, 
MDCCCXXXVIII. (1838), aged VIII. 

Ann Catherine, third daughter of Charles 
Bannerman, Bart., and Anne Bannerman, 
died at Crimonrnogate, XXVI. of February, 
MDCCCXLVII. (1847), aged 15. 



Sir Charles was succeeded by his son, 
Sir Alexander, who died in 1877, leaving 
an only daughter, Ethel Mary Elizabeth, 
who, in 1891, married Lord Carnegie, 
eldest son of the Earl of Southesk. 
Varied information regarding the Milne 
and Bannerrnan families is given in 
Morgan's ''Annals of Woodside, etc."; 
Munro's "Provosts, etc."; and Pratt's 
" Buchan " (Revised Edition). 

The lands of Crimond proper were 
purchased before 1689 from the Earl of 
Erroll by Alexander Cumming, who had 
for long acted as his factor. Upon 9th July, 
1690, Alexander Cumming of Crimond was 
served heir to his father, Alexander Cum- 
ming, sometime of Brunthill, afterwards 
of Birness, in the lands of Borrowley. 
Ardgight, Cairnmucks, etc. (Retours.) 
In 1703, Alexander Irvine of the Artam- 
ford family bought Crimond (Irvine of 
Crimond was the ancestor of the present 
line of Drum), which subsequently was 
owned by the Forbeses and more recently 
by the Bannermans. 


Before 1672, Logie, which lies to the 
west of the parish church, belonged to 
John Hay, who died in 1673, and was 
succeeded by three nieces as heirs por- 
tioners — Mary Meldrum, wife of David 
Stewart, Commissary of Moray ; Isobell 
Meldrum, spouse of James Gordon of Ard- 
meallie; and Elspet Meldrum, wife of 
Rev. David Cumming, minister of Edin- 
killie. (Antiq., IV., p. 81, etc.) In 1696, 
the proprietors are returned as David 
Stewart and James Gordon, who are de- 
scribed as " portioners." Shortly after- 
wards Gordon acquired the whole of Logie. 
He was the third son by the first marriage 
of George Gordon, IV. of Coclarachie. 
He married a daughter of Peter 
Meldrum of Laithers, and of their family, 

Alexander, the younger son, succeeded to 
Logie before 1721, while the elder son, 
Peter, received the estate of Ardmeallie, in 
the parish of Marnoch. Unfortunately, the 
laird got mixed up in the rising of the '45, 
as also did his son Robert, who joined the 
rebel army. The name of the latter was 
excepted from the general pardon, but he 
seems ultimately to have made terms with 
the Government. He was served heir to 
his father in 1752, and sold Logie. Of 
his family, a son James was for long a 
farmer at Mains of Logie, and thereafter 
at Mains of Orrock, Belhelvie. He was an 
advanced and successful agriculturist. 
Dr Keith (Agricultural Survey of Aber- 
deenshire, pp. 299-300) comments upon the 
extraordinary crop of ruta baga, or 
Swedish turnips, which Gordon had raised 
upon the former farm in 1798. The yield 
was found to average upwards of forty-one 
tons per acrel 

Several of the foregoing facts are culled 
from exhaustive notes on the Coclarachie 
Gordons which have been carefully com- 
piled by Rev. Stephen Ree, minister of 
Boharm, and given in the New Spalding 
Club's Vol. I. of " The House of Gordon." 

To the strong Jacobite influence and pro- 
clivities of the Gordons of Logie, who were 
patrons of George Halket, sometime 
schoolmaster of Rathen, are doubtless due 
the production of many of Halket' s stirring 
Jacobite songs, which are believed to have 
done much in winning Scotch followers to 
the Pretender's side. Among others of his 
still popular compositions is the plaintive 
ballad, "0, Logie o' Buchan." The hero 
of this piece was gardener at Logie House, 
while the heroine was Isobel Keith, who 
afterwards married William Keith, farmer, 
Tyacksnook, and died in May, 1826, aged 
89. (See Lonmay.) It is alleged that the 
gardener, after leaving Logie, found em- 
ployment in the service of the laird of Kin- 



mundy. This explains why the first verse 
of the original ballad ran — 

0, woe to Kinmundy ! Kinmundy, the laird, 
Wha's tacn awa' Jamie that delv'd in the yaird, 
Wha play'd on the pipe, an' the viol sae sma', 
Kinniundy's taen Jamie, the flower o' them a'. 

Early last century Logie was owned by 
Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Tower (son 
of John Tower, convener of the Incor- 
porated Trades, Aberdeen), for some time 
M.P. for Berwickshire, but was afterwards 
acquired by Sir Charles Bannerman of 


Two small sandstone slabs built into the 
outer side of the south wall of the old 
church show a rough carving of a tree — 
the Watson arms — flanked by the initials, 
A. W. — W. W., while underneath is the 
motto, " Feir God." There is also the 
inscription — 

An . row Watson of Hado. 
A . D . WT. 

Prior to the scheme for improvement of 
the graveyard being carried out a few 
years ago, a large tablestone of Iona 
marble lay over a grave, but it has since 
mysteriously disappeared. The following 
inscription is given in Jervise's MS. as 
being upon it, and this corresponds 
with the particulars gathered from 
other sources — 

Here lyes William Watson of Haddo, who 
departed this life March the 27th, anno, 1682 ; 
also here lyes Margaret Yonger, his spouse, who 
departed this life August the 10th, anno, 1674. 

Under this stone lyes Patrick Black of Haddo, 
who died April 2nd, 1745, in the 49th year of 
his age. As also Margaret Carnegie, his wife, 
who died March 18th, 1748. aged 49 years. 

The Watson epitaph ran round the edges 
of the stone, whilst Black's one was in the 

Andrew Watson, who, in 1605, was 

designated as " proprietor of Rattray " and 
subsequently " as laird of Haddo," seems 
to have had much trouble in defending his 
life, property, and legal rights. Disputes 
about boundaries were of frequent occur- 
rence, and such hostility was manifested 
towards him that on 5th August, 1605, the 
Privy Council ordered James Gordon, ap- 
parent of Lesmoir, to find caution for a 
thousand pounds, and Abraham Stewart 
in " Manbletoun," with James Gordon in 
Fortry, etc., to find three hundred merks 
each of caution not to harm the said An- 
drew Watson. (Privy Council Register.) 
William Watson was son of the above An- 
drew Watson, and, in 1675, in his capacity 
of baillie of the burgh of Rattray, superior 
of the lands, he granted a charter in 
favour of Isobel Watson, spouse of Alex- 
ander Bisset in Bilbo. (Statistical 
Account, etc.) 

From the Watsons Haddo was acquired 
by William Black, who, in 1711, was elected 
sub-Principal of King's College and Uni- 
versity, Aberdeen, in which he had held 
office as Regent. Mr Black died in Febru- 
ary, 1714, and his son Patrick succeeded. 
It has been suggested that of this family 
was possibly William Black, advocate, who 
was trustee for Alexander Irvine, thir- 
teenth laird of Drum — the opinion being 
strengthened by the fact that Irvine sold 
Auchtercoul for £48,000 Scots to Black 
of Haddo, but repurchased it in fee simple 
in 1702. In a subsequent list of the 
creditors of Irvine, the name of Black of 
Haddo appeared for the large sum of 
£26,661 13s 4d. (Wimberley's Irvines of 

From the Blacks the lands of Haddo 
were purchased by Robert Arbuthnot, 
merchant in Peterhead, who died 15th 
September, 1756. (See Peterhead.) There- 
after they passed through various hands, 
including those of Alexander Annand (who 
died 16th April, 1792, aged 65), William 



Annand, James Laiug, Miss Laing, and 
Miss Brebner. 


Apart from Rattray and its surround- 
ings, the most interesting antiquities in 
the parish are the remains of a stone circle 
on the farm of Netherton of Logie. This 
circle is considered by experts to be in a 
high state of preservation . 

Tradition erroneously locates the scene 
of the beautiful ballad " Sir James the 
Rose" at the Battle Fauld, near Haddo. 
It may be, however, that an encounter 
having an equally tragic ending took place 


Crimond was formerly a prebend of 
Aberdeen, being added in 1262. (Antiq., 
I., p. 158.) 

From 1567 to 1573 the parish was 
supplied by George Nesbit, reader. 

In 1574, Archibald Keith was minister of 
Crimond, Longley, Peterugy, and Cruden. 
Two of his sons — Samuel and George— seem 
to have been of a lawless and turbulent 
character, as evidenced by the appoint- 
ment, in 1586, of a commission to put them 
upon trial for malicious and deadly designs 
against sundry of the lieges in Buchan and 
the Mearns. (Antiq., IV., p. 640.) 

Shortly afterwards, Rev. John Gordon, 
second son of Alexander Gordon of Les- 
moir, and brother of Sir James, who 
became the first baronet, was parson of 
Crimond. Along with Rev. Duncan David- 
son, minister of Rathen, and Rev. David 
Howesoun, incumbent of Tyrie, he joined 
Sir Alexander Fraser of Philorth in his 
scheme of building a College at Fraser- 
burgh and establishing a University there. 
(See Fraserburgh.) 

In a railed-in corner of the graveyard 
are mural tablets — 

In memory of the Rev. William Boyd, 

minister of Crimond, who died on the 28th of 
April, 1839, in the 80th year of his age, and 
the 43rd of his ministry. 

Sacred to the memory of the Rev. Alexander 
Boyd, minister of the parish of Crimond, who 
died on the 22nd August, 1854, in the 45th year 
of his age, and 14th of his ministry. 

This tablet is erected as a token of affectiou 
by his disconsolate widow. 

Thy will be done. 
(3 Translation). 

William Boyd, died 11th August, 1820, in his 
21st year, while prosecuting his studies in 
Theology and Medicine with the greatest 
assiduity and success. Piety, benevolence, and 
earnest longing for heavenly things, and an 
ardent love of science filled his soul, heart, and 
mind. When winter is gone they will flourish 

William Boyd, minister of the Church of 
Crimond from 1797 to 1839, dedicated this 
monument to the memory of a son whom he 
never once said that he was in fault. 

To the foregoing particulars, ,and to 
those given by Dr Scott (Fasti), it may be 
added that Rev. William Boyd, M.A., 
married Janet, daughter of Robert Mackie, 
skinner, and some time convener of the 
Incorporated Trades of Aberdeen, who died 
2nd September, 1846, in her 81st year, and 
that of the four sons of this marriage, 
Robert, the eldest, became a planter in 
Java, while the elder of the two daughters 
— Penelope — died 18th April, 1874, aged 
81 years. (Tombstone at Oldmachar.) 
Rev. Alexander Boyd, M.A., married a 
daughter of James Tower, M.D., of Santa 
Cruz (brother of Lieutenant-Colonel Alex- 
ander Tower, of Logie), by his marriage 
with a daughter of Rev. Hugh Knox, 
D.D., of Santa Cruz. The Boyd family 
were related to the Lords Kilmarnock of 
that name. 

A tablestone in Oldmachar graveyard 
records the demise of the succeeding 
minister — 
In memoriam the Reverend Alexander Irvine. 



D.D., minister of Crimond, died 12tJa January, 
1884, aged 79 years ; and Jessie Nicol, his wife, 
died 27th April, 1888, aged 83 years. 

A mural tablet at the same grave adds 
that Dr Irvine was for 57 years a minister 
of the Church of Scotland, and that a 
daughter, Jessie Seymour, died on 2nd 
September, 1887, aged 51. Mr Irvine was 
presented by George IV. to the charge of 
Dunnottar in 1827, translated to Peter- 
head in 1844, and inducted to Crimond in 
1855. His degree of D.D. was conferred 
by the University of Aberdeen in 1873. 
Patrick Irvine, solicitor, and clerk to the 
Harbour Board of Peterhead, is a son of 
Dr Irvine. 

The old Parish Church is believed to 
have been erected in 1576, that date hav- 
iug been above one of its doors. (Old 
Statistical Account.) It stood within the 
graveyard, but all that now remains is 
a portion of the south wall and part of a 
neat ornamental stone cornice, which is 
built into the churchyard wall within the 
Boyd ground formerly mentioned. On the 
cornice in bold letters is — 

For in Thy Courts on day excels a thousand 
other here. Pea. 84, 10. 

The present church, which was erected 
in 1812, aud substantially renovated in 
1895, stands by the side of the public road, 
at a distance of about half a mile from the 
previous edifice. In the west end is a 
steeple containing a clock, which was pre- 
sented by James Laing of Haddo and 
Streatham Hill, Surrey, who was a 
native of the parish. A two-light stained 
glass window has been placed in the east 
end in memory of the incumbents, Rev 
Alexander Boyd and Rev. Alexander 
Irvine, D.D., already referred to. A 
vestry was added in 1854. On panels are 
painted names, etc., of sundry officers, 
together with the following list of 
patrons: — James VI., 1573; Gilbert, Earl 

of Erroll, 1655; Andrew Hay of Mont- 
blairie, 1729 ; Thomas Buchan of Auch- 
macoy, 1744 ; James, Earl of Erroll, 1796 ; 
James, Earl of Fife, 1839. 


The parish is recognised as healthy, 
many of the residenters reaching long 
ages. It will be noted from the few epi- 
taphs here given that six parties died 
at an average age of 85, whilst within 
a few years preceding 1842, three females 
are said to have died at the age of 100. 
(New Statistical Account.) Remarkable 
as those instances of longevity no doubt 
are, they are eclipsed by those of John 
Dennis, Mains of Crimond, who died in 
December, 1770, at the reputed age of 
102, and had taken part in the battle of 
Killiecrankie, 82 years before (" Aberdeen 
Journal "), and of John Cowie, who died in 
1811, at the alleged age of 108. The 
latter, when 43 years of age, was a trooper 
at Culloden. In 1760, he was elected 
church officer and sexton at Crimond, but 
resigned several years later on the ground 
of old age. His successor held office for a 
considerable period, and at his death, 
John, who had in the meantime married 
and renewed his youth, was again ap- 
pointed to his old important posts, faith- 
fully discharging their duties till the last 
Sunday of his life. 

In memory of Charles Farquhar, preacher of 
the Gospel, and schoolmaster at Mintlaw, who 
died 25th of March, 1834, in the 28th year of his 
age. This stone was erected by the inhabitants 
of Mintlaw in token of their esteem for his 

On a horizontal stone over the same 
grave — 

In memory of Rev. John Farquhar, M.A., for 
42 years schoolmaster of Mintlaw, who died 27th 
October, 1888. aged 72 yeara 2nd Timothy IV. 
7 and 8. 



Here also rest Alex. Farquhar and Anne 
Keith, his wife, father and mother of the said 
John Farquhar, and their daughters Anne, 
Isabella, and Eleanora. 

A stone lying against the north wall 
bears — 

Captain Nairne and the other officers of the 
1I.C.S. General Kydd, desired this stone to be 
erected in testimony of their regard for James 
Milne, who died on board that ship on his 
voyage homewards, 19th June, 1822, in the 43rd 
year of his age. and 29th of his service in the 
E. India trade. 

Alexander Milne, lately in Longleys, his 
father, who died 11th January, 1802, aged 71, 
is interred here. 

In the inside of the wall of the old 
church is a stone inscribed — 

Here lyes William Nisbet, lauful husband to 
Elspet Donaldson, who departed this life the 
17th of February, 1697, and of his age the 43. 

A beautiful monogram and sundry 
mortuary emblems are shown, together 
with the Latin word Resurgam — " I shall 
rise again." 

Upon an ancient slab fixed into the wall, 
and within the Boyd ground, is the fol- 
lowing — 

Under this lyeth sex of Mr Wil Hay and 
Mary Meldrum's children. 

Suffer litle childrn to com unto Me. 

No date is given, but from the fact that 
this space is locally known as " the 
ministers' corner," that it has within it 
the inscribed cornice of the old church 
referred to, and that Hay is described as 
Mr — which was the old documentary and 
inscriptive title for a graduate and a 
clergyman — it is very probable that the 
children commemorated had been those of 
Rev. William Hay, minister of Crimond, 
admitted before 1633, or of his son, who 
bore the same name, and who was inducted 
about 1655. 

On a tablestone, having the initials 
J. F. and I. H., is the inscription — 

Here lyes the body of John Farquhar, some 
time farmer at Mill of Starnefin, who died 
March 22nd, 1766, in the 62nd year of his age. 
Also Mary and John, two of his children by 
Isabel Henderson, his spouse. 

Also here lyes the forsaid Isabel Henderson's 
body who died April 15th, 1784, aged 85 years. 

A tablestone bearing the date 1742, the 
initials W. S., I. B., A. S., S. I., together 
with various emblems and a scroll, is in- 
scribed — 

Here lyes in hope of a blessed resurrection 
the corpse of William Seller, some time feuer 
in Ratra, who departed this life the 18th of 
May, 1705, of age 63. Also the corpse of lean 
Bisset, his spouse, who departed this life 7th 
of November, 1740, aged 78. 

Mary Seller died at Fraserburgh on 4th 
August, 1897, aged 81. 

A tablestone has the following in- 
scription — 

Sacred to the memory of James Robb, who 
died in Bilbo a.d. 1802, aged 81. Also of his 
son, John Robb, gardener at Grange, who was 
a peaceable and industrious member of society, 
a loving husband, an affectionate father, and 
in all his conduct an exemplary man. He 
died 3rd July, 1823, aged 63 

Another tablestone has — 

Here lyes the body of William Park, sometime 
farmer in the Mains of Crimond, who departed 
this life March, the 8th, 1763, aged 87 years. 
Also of Elisabeth Farquhar, his spouse, who 
died January 4th, 1757, aged 74 years ; and also 
William Park, their son, sometime farmer 
Crimondigorth, who died' February 2nd, 1765. 
aged 49 years. 

In 1696, Park, for himself, his wife, and 
valuation, paid 16s 2d of poll, 12s being 
also paid for his son William and his 
daughter Janet. (Poll Book.) 

The following five inscriptions are from 



stones in various portions of the grave- 
yard — 


Erected by Alexander Anderson, in Casway- 
hill, in memory of (his affectionate wife Mary 
Milne, who died October 26th, 1814, in the 59th 
year of her age. Also their son, who died in 

Here a kind parent in death's dark abode, 
In solemn silence waits the trump of God. 
Ye once lov'd friends your heart-felt grief 

Your temporal loss is her eternal gain. 

The above-named Alexander Anderson, late in 
Blapkwater, St Fergus, who faithfully dis- 
charged the duties of an elder in the Free 
Church there, displaying the powers of an 
unimpaired and cultivated intellect, in combina- 
tion with the Graces of the Spirit, until March 
22nd, 1854, when he entered into rest in the 
93rd year of his age. 


Here lies the body of William Jaffray, late 
weaver in Tophead, St Fergus, who departed 
this life April 16th, 1790, aged 77. Also of his 
wife Isobel Rob, who departed this life February 
4th. 1795. aged 75. Her sobriety and industry, 
as a loving wife, are fully manifested in her 
dutiful exertions as a parent towards her 
surviving children. 


In memory of Jean Cummine, Turriff, who 
died 3rd Merch 1842. in the 4th year of her 

Humbly then I flee to Jesus, 
Better refuge none can be. 
When the arm of death shall seize us 
We shall put our trust in Thee. 

William Turriff died aged 84 years. Also his 
brother Robert, who died 31st January. 1849. in 
the 19th year of his age. 


Erected by Alexander Cowie, farmer in Bel- 
fatton. to the memory of his son Alexander, who 

died 10th November, 1832, aged 16 years and 5 

" The finest flower that ever blow'd, 
Opened in Calvar's tree; 
When Jesus' blood in rivers flow'd, 
For love of worthless me." 

In the grace and tender pity of Christ here 
resteth the body of James Park, the beloved 
son of William and Isabella Park, Haddo, who 
was swept off Peterhead Pier and drowned 
during the great storm of January 10th, 1849, 
at the age of 26 years. . . . 


John Farquhar, who at his death in 1826 
left a fortune of a million and a half, was 
born at Bilbo in 1751. Hs father, John 
Farquhar, afterwards moved to Deeside, 
and in 1761, being then designated 
"Wright at Saw Mill of Culter," pur- 
chased and held — conjointly with his wife, 
Elizabeth Chalmers— until 1774 the lands 
of Newton (now Newton-Dee'), then in 
the parish of Banchory-Devenick. There 
is a tombstone to the memory of this couple 
in St Nicholas Churchyard, Aberdeen. 
(See " Scottish Notes and Queries," VIII., 
p. 87.) Their son John entered as a 
student at Marischal College in 1764, and 
obtained a cadetship in the Bombay Estab- 
lishment of the H.E.I.C., but having 
been severely wounded, he was early in- 
capacitated from a military career, and, 
going to Bengal, became superintendent 
of the powder factory at Palta, and subse- 
quently sole contractor for the supply of 
gunpowder to the East India Company. 
Amassing a large fortune, he returned to 
this country, and in 1822 purchased Font- 
hill Abbey, rendered famous by the ex- 
travagancies of William Beckford, the 
author of " Vathek." Further particulars 
regarding the career of Farquhar will be 
found in the "Dictionary of National 
Biography," XVIII., 22. 





Tradition states that near the east end 
of the Loch of Strathbeg a castle formerly 
stood on a small circular-formed hill with 
a flat top, extending to about half a Scotch 
acre: that it belonged to the powerful 
Cumvns, Earls of Buchan (Kennedy as- 
serts that it was their principal residence, 
"Annals of Aberdeen," Vol. II.. p. 323); 
but that, on ceasing to be occupied, about 
1308, it speedily fell into decay, until now 
not one stone remains upon another. The 
site is still known as "The Castle Hill," 
but, through the action of drifted sand 
and agricultural operations, the surround- 
ings have been greatly altered. Hearth- 
stones covered with ashes, and roughly- 
dressed stones with lime and clay adher- 
ing, have, at various times, been excav- 
ated from the supposed site. These finds, 
along with the recent discovery of a 
regularly-made causeway at the foot of the 
hill or mound, give weight to the tradition. 

On 6th March, 1563-4, Queen Mary, by 
charter, raised to the dignity of a Royal 
burgh a hamlet which had sprung up 
around the eastern end of the loch. The 
district assigned included the chapel and 
graveyard of Rattray, with certain adjoin- 
ing " muirs." The usual privileges were 
granted, including power to hold a weekly 
market and two yearly fairs. (Antiq., I., 
p. 425.) It is now declared that the erec- 
tion of the burgh arose, not on account 
of the size or general prosperity of the 
hamlet, but solely with the view of ter- 
minating a quarrel which had arisen res- 
pecting its superiority. This was claimed 
by both the Keith and Hay families, and 
considerable litigation followed. For a 
time the residenters had the advantage 
of an excellent natural harbour in the 

Loch of Strathbeg, which had then a clear 
opening to the sea. About 1720, however, 
during a furious storm from the east, a 
sand bar was formed which effectually 
closed up the connecting point. So sud- 
den and destructive had been the storm 
that a small ship which was in the harbour 
discharging slates was closed in, and 
gradually went to pieces. Thereafter, the 
burgh rapidly dwindled till now the grave- 
yard and chapel alone mark its site. In 
the Statistical Accounts particulars are 
given as to several of the old feus and 
their holders. 


These lands were granted, in 1458, by 
James II. to Sir William Monypeny of 
Ardewny, who was described in the char- 
ter as the King's " well-beloved familiar." 
They had previously been in the hands of 
Hugh Douglas, Earl of Ormonde, but 
had been forfeited to the Crown. Shortly 
afterwards, they were acquired by the 
Keiths. In 1495, William Keith was 
served in these lands, as nearest heir to 
his father, the deceased Sir Gilbert Keith 
of Inverugie. 

A few years later, Broadland was in the 
possession of James Gordon, afterwards 
the first baronet of Lesmoir, who, marry- 
ing Rebecca Keith (it was probably the 
celebration of this marriage, in the sum- 
mer of 1589, that James VI. attended — 
Gordon's ''Scots Affairs," I., p. xxxiii.) is 
believed to have got the lauds as a part 
of her marriage portion. In 1614 — eleven 
years before the Lesmoir baronetcy was 
conferred — Gordon conveyed to his second 
son, William, and his spouse, Christian 
Walker, the whole barony of Broadland. 
(Wimberley's Lesmoir, p. 54.) This 
couple would appear to have got into 
serious financial difficulties, as shown by 
the numerous and heavy mortgages which 
they were obliged to grant. In 1630, they 
assigned two ploughlands — 208 acres Scots 



— of Broadland to Thomas Gordon (Sasine 
Register, vol. vii., p. 119); and that they 
had further mortgaged the lands is shown 
by the deed of assignation to the wadset 
over Broadland for 6300 merks Scots, 
granted, on 19th October, 1651, by Sir 
Thomas Buruett of Leys, Bart., with con- 
sent of his son, in favour of the hospital 
built for the help and support of old poor 
residenters in the barony of Leys. 
(Family of Burnett of Leys, pp. 261-63.) 

In the inside and over the window of 
the gable of the old church of Crimond 
is a slab bearing a defaced shield with the 
Gordon arms, the motto BYDAND, the 
initials T. G., and a Latin inscription, of 
which the following is a translation — 

Dr Thomas Gordon, jun., with his father. 

Under this seat are laid the ashes of a man 
of good birth, Thomas Gordon of Broadland, 

It is difficult to fix definitely the 
branch to which Thomas Gordon belonged. 
That he possessed considerable means is 
evidenced by his name appearing, in 1633, 
as lender of 5500 merks among six parties, 
two of whom were Sir James Gordon, 
younger of Lestnoir, and George Gordon of 
Terpersie. (Spalding Club "Miscellany," 
III., p. 102.) 


In the roof of the same window is a 
stone having a Latin inscription, which, 
translated, reads — 

To Christ the Saviour. Here rests in the 
Lord all that is left under the sun of a man 
of good birth, and adorned with many graces 
of mind and person, Patrick Fraser of Broad- 
land, who died peacefully and piously 4th 
January, 1685, in his 66th year, to cover whose 
mortal remains his widow Margaret Setcn 
. . . . caused this stone to be erected. 

Both splays of the window are lined with 
funereal slabs, showing a shield with the 
Fraser arms, a fleur-de-lis being over all, 
and surmounted by an esquire's helmet and 

the motto, IN GOD I TRUST. The Seton 
arms are also shown ; and the name of 
Margaret Seton had been inscribed along 
with a complimentary epitaph in Latin, 
which, translated, is — 

As maiden, wife, and widow she was a model 
of perfect propriety, a pattern of modesty and 
matronly excellence. 

Nisbet (Heraldry, II., part III., p. 15) 
gives Fraser of Broadland as descended 
from a sixth son of a proprietor of Philorth, 
the chief evidence being the fleur-de-lis in 
his arms ; but the late Lord Saltoun 
(Frasers of Philorth, II., p. 157) regarded 
this descent as doubtful, inasmuch as no 
Fraser of Philorth was known to have had 
six sons — with the exception of Sir Alex- 
ander, third of Philorth, who died in 1482. 

Andrew Arbuthnot, a descendant of 
Arbuthnott of that Ilk, married Margaret 
Fraser, daughter of the above laird of 
Broadland, from whom he purchased the 
lands. Of this marriage there were three 
sons and six daughters. Of the sons, 
Andrew and Nathaniel died unmarried, 
while Charles went to the West Indies, 
and on his return married Grizel John- 
ston, daughter of Andrew Johnston of 
Aldie. He lived for many years at Crichie, 
Old Deer, and died in 1812. (Arbuthnot 

Before 1778, Broadland belonged to 
Robert Stevens, whose improvements upon 
the property are referred to by Francis 
Douglas in his "Description of the East 
Coast of Scotland " (pp. 230-31). 

Ten years later, the lands were pur- 
chased by Alexander Harvey at the price 
of 10,000 guineas. He was the grandson 
of John Harvey, schoolmaster, Midmar, 
and son of Alexander Harvey, who, while 
young, had emigrated to Antigua and 
accumulated wealth. In 1787, he married 
Mary Morrison of Terreagleston, but they 
had no family. Buchan, in his " Annals of 
Peterhead," comments in glowing terms 


upon Harvey's loyalty, enterprise, and 
kindliness of heart ; while Dr Skene Keith, 
in referring to the property, says that " in 
its neighbourhood are the finest downs in 
the island." Interesting particulars re- 
garding the Harvey family are given in the 
records drawn up by the late A. Dingwall 
Fordyce of Fergus, Ontario. 

Nearly one-half of the area of Rattray 
Chapel at the eastern end is railed in, and 
forms the burial ground of members of the 
Cumine family, who nest owned the pro- 

Within are two crosses inscribed re- 
spectively — 


Harriet Hay Cumine. daughter of Thomas 
Burnett, advocate, Aberdeen, wife of James 
Cumine of Rattray, left this world November 
21st, 1884. 
"We enter life bui through the sate of death." 


" Until the day break and the shadows flee 

To the loved and stainless memory of James 
Cumine of Rattray. Born March 30, 1810; 
passed from Death into Life everlasting. 
December 17, 1894. 

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall 
see God. 

A headstone alongside bears — 

In memory of Thomas Cumine, second son 
of James Cumine of Rattray. Born, Uth 
April, 1847; died, 21st June, 1887. 
" God is love." 

A wall tablet in Oldmaohar Churchyard 
records the decease of other members of 
the Cumine family thus — 

Sacred to the memory of Elizabeth William- 
son Burnett, wife of Adam Cumine, and 
daughter of Kirkpatrick Williamson Burnett 
of Monboddo. Died the 4th of May, 1815, 
aged 34 years. Alexander Cumine died 4th 
October, 1839, aged 24 years. Adam Cumine 
of Rattray, born 5th May, 1767, died 17th 
January, 1841. William Adam Cumine, eldest 
son of James Cumine, Esq. of Rattray, died 

12th January, 1849. aged 4 years. Jane Cumine, 
daughter of the late Adam Cumine of 
Rattray, died 5th September, 1886, aged 73 
years. Elizabeth Cumine, daughter of the late 
Adam Cumine of Rattray, born 9th May, 181], 
died 5th November, 1887, aged 75 years. 

These four inscriptions give particulars 
as to the later members of the Cumine 
family descended from the Morayshire 
branch of the Red Cumyns, which 
migrated to Aberdeenshire about two 
centuries ago, and acquired the estate of 
Pitullie, near Fraserburgh. The pur- 
chaser of Broadland-Rattray was Adam 
Ctimine, of the Honourable East India 
Company's service, who, in 1808, married 
the grand-daughter of the celebrated Lord 
Monboddo, and niece of Elizabeth Bur- 
nett, whose accomplishments and beauty 
were extolled by Burns. James Cumine, 
their son, succeeded. He also, for a time, 
was an officer in the East India Company's 
service, but for many years lived on his 
estate, in the management and improve- 
ment of which he took much interest. Of 
his family, Alexander entered the Indiati 
Civil Service, while George Lewis became 
a civil engineer, and an expert in railway 
construction. A daughter, Mary Eliza- 
beth, is married to Sir Thomas Burnett, 
twelfth Baronet of Leys. Further par- 
ticulars respecting the family will be found 
in the article under Old Deer. 

The house of Broadland forms the 
mansion-house of Rattray, and since the 
property was acquired by the Cumine 
family they have called it Rattray, 
abandoning the old title of Broadland by 
which it was so long known. 

A chapel, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, 
was founded here at an early date. The 
author of the "View of the Diocese" says 
that it was founded for the rest of the 
soul of the Earl of Bnchan's son, who had 
been accidentally drowned in a well. This 



assertion has not been substantiated, nor 
has the actual date of foundation been 
ascertained. A stone of red granite lying 
within the edifice, and removed from the 
west wall, gives the date as a.d. 911. No 
weight should be attached to this, how- 
ever, as it was cut and fixed within the 
last fifty years. The probability is that 
the foundation had been made by William 
Cumyii, Earl of Buclian, between 1214 
and 1233. Certain it is that that Earl, 
between the years stated, granted the 
lands and mill of Stratheyn (Strichen) 
and Kyndrochet to Cospatric Mac- 
madethyn for payment of two stones of 
wax at Whitsunday yearly; and this the 
Earl subsequently gave in free alms for 
ever to Rattray Chapel. The gift was 
afterwards converted into a monetary 
payment. (Antiq., II., pp. 394-5.) The 
cost of building the chapel must have been 
considerable, as many of the stones had 
to be carried from Dundarg. The struc- 
ture was small, measuring, internally, 45 
feet in length by 18 feet in breadth. The 

walls were three feet in thickness, but are 
now much broken down. The gables, how- 
ever, are still in fair order, the east one 
showing three windows of beautiful Gothic 

The following illustration of the Chapel 
is from a photograph specially taken by 
Mr Thomas Trail, Fraserburgh. 

About thirty years ago, a scheme was 
started, and a considerable sum subscribed, 
for the restoration of the roofless building. 
But as the district is somewhat sparsely 
populated, and the site not particularly 
centrical, the undertaking has been de- 
ferred . 

At a broken-down part of one of the 
walls and at the height of about two feet 
and a half from the ground, a railed-in 
slab about six inches square has been 
fixed, bearing the following peculiarly 
worded inscription — 

P.C. 1877. The above was placed by the kind 
consent of the proprietor. Refer to "Guardian ' 
and " Pratt's Buclian," 25th January, 1878. 

The Chapel of Rattray. 



P.C. means "Proprietor's Consent," 
and the remainder of the inscription refers 
to the deposit of a bottle and a leaden 
case containing the newspaper articles and 
correspondence relative to the proposed 
restoration, etc. 


For many centuries there has been a 
graveyard around the chapel, but, on the 
decay of the latter and the extinction of 
the burgh, it got into a sadly neglected 
condition. With no sufficient surrounding 
walls, it, in time, came to be recognised as 
a portion of the adjoining farm, and was 
regularly pastured by cattle and sheep. 
Alexander Davidson, a native of the parish, 
who had been for several years in Jamaica, 
and thereafter in Ceylon, and whose love 
for everything connected with Rattray was 
enthusiastic and paternal, provided the 
needful funds ; and a substantial stone and 
lime enclosing wall was built— the grave- 
yard itself being put into a neat and tidy 
condition. Mr James Cumine of Rattray, 
the superior of the lands, and Rev. Alex- 
ander Boyd, parish minister, ably seconded 
the carrying out of this praiseworthy work. 
Mr Cumine, at the same time, granted a 
deed, declaring that the graveyard should, 
in all time coming, be preserved for the 
purpose to which it had been dedicated. 
A record of the various operations is con- 
tained in two tablets on either side of the 
entrance gate — 

The enclosure of the churchyard was restored 
with the prompt and kind consent of the pro- 
prietor of Rattray, and the active assistance of 
the late Rev. Alexander Boyd, then minister of 
the parish of Crimond. 


The wall enclosing this burial ground was re- 
built at, the request and expense of Alexander 

Davidson, a native of this parish, late of the 
island of 

Jamaica, now of Ceylon. 

7 years. 1848 20 years. 

Mr Davidson's gratitude for the special 
aid rendered by Rev. Alexander Boyd in- 
duced him to have a third mural tablet 
erected. It is inscribed — 

A. Davidson, from respect to the memory of 
Mr Boyd, late minister of Crimond, begs to 
record his serase of gratitude for services 
rendered by him during the work of restoring 
the wall which encloses this ancient burial 
ground. Placed here with the consent of the 
proprietor. 1880. 

Within an enclosure (besides the Boyd 
complimentary mural tablet already 
quoted) are three upright stones inscribed 
respectively — 


1842. Erected by Alexander Davidson, of the 
island of Jamaica, in memory of his father John 
Davidson, some time tenant in Haddo, who died 
March 20th. 1811, aged 40 years. Also of Janet 
Adie, wife of the said John Davidson, who died 
April 15th. 1835, aged 60 years. 

Though absent from our native land, 
We heave a filial sigh; 
And recollections are more keen, 
Perhaps than when we're nigh. 


The burying ground of Alexander Davidson, 
who was seven years in Jamaica, and twenty 
years in the island of Ceylon. Born at Haddo 
Rattray, 10th May, 1808; died 9th November. 


Jane Adams died 8th February, 1875. aged 31 
years. Christ is risen from the dead, and be- 
come the first fruit6 of them that slept. 

On a tablestone, showing skull and cross- 
bones at top — 

Here lyes the body of Andrew Farquhar. who 
lived in the land of Haddo, who departed this 
life 16th of August. 1747, aged 69 years; as 
also the body of Marjorie Mitchell, lafule 6pous 
to Andrew Farquhar, who departed this life 
June 10th, 1758. aged 77 years. 



A tablestone near the centre of the 
graveyard is inscribed — 

To the memory of Iohn Foreman, some time 
in Saltwards of Boardland, who died March 
25th, 1765. aged 88; and Christen Brodie, his 
spouse, who died November 26th, 1768, aged 81 ; 
and eight of their children. Also John, their 
son, some time in Haddo, and died December 
31st, 1768, aged 52. Also William Forman, son 
to Andrew Forman, erecter of this stone. Also 
George Forman, some time farmer in North 
Blackwater, who departed this life the 6th of 
July, 1816. aged 70 years. 

The surname Foreman seems to have 
been quite common in the parish at one 
time. The Poll Book shows that four 
separate householders bore it about 160C. 

A mutilated tablestone in the area of 
the chapel is inscribed — 

Here lyes David Tarras. son of William 
Tarras, some time in Rottray. and merchant 
in and burgess of Lanark. He died at Peter- 
head the 18th day of February, 1765 years, in 
the 74th year of his age. 

A low reef of rock, known as Rattray 
Briggs, extends into the sea for a con- 
siderable distance, and as it becomes sub- 
merged at high water, it has always proved 
a death-trap to mariners. On account of 
the great loss of life and property, the 
Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses 
some years ago placed a lighthouse at the 
dangerous point. Since the warning light 
was put into operation, shipwrecks have 
been materially reduced. Many brave 
sailors who met their doom on the treacher- 
ous coast have been buried in the grave- 
yard. The following headstone inscription 
gives the names of three — 

Erected by his parents, residing in Dundee, to 
the memory of Thomas M'Lauchlan. aged 22 
years, second mate of the ship Genoa, who was 
drowned with two others named John Murray, 
Galway, aged 21 years, and Robert Morrison, 
Pictou, aged 20 years, while nobly attempting 
to rescue the crew of that vessel, which was 
wrecked on Rattray Head Briggs. Sunday, April 
12. 1863. 

A headstone bears — 

Erected by William Adie, Mill of Haddo, in 
memory of his brother Thomas Adie. who was 
34 years a fishcurer in Fraserburgh. He died at 
Mains of Crimond 28th Jany, 1856, aged 65 
years. He had a kindly manner and a 
hospatiblc disposition, for which he leived 
respected and died regreated. 


Behold how Fintray's plains delight the eye. 
For fertile soil there's none with them can vie. 
See the enamelled meads extending wide, 
Augment the river charms on every side. 

Logan's MS. furnishes the following 
particulars — 

When the Abbey of Lindores was founded . 
. . the church of Fintriche, with its pertin- 
ents, was conferred on it, some confused tradi- 
tion of which yet exists in the parish. The 
church formerly stood on the north bank of the 
River Don, nearly opposite to the kirk of 
Dyce, and at the eastern side of the parish. 
From this position the name is probably de- 
rived, it being interpreted "the fair bank of 
the river." [It will be noted that Rev. Samuel 
Copland, author of the " Statistical Account of 
the Parish," says that the origin and import 
of the name is unknown, while Rev. John Catto, 
in his interesting "Jottings on the Parish," 
declares the name to be of Gaelic origin — being 
derived from Fionn, fair, and Traigh, strand 
or margin.] The site of the original building, 
in which grow some large ash trees, is en- 
closed by high walls, being the place of inter- 
ment for the family of Forbes of Fintray. The 
surrounding burial ground is still occasionally 
used, but it is hard and rocky, and water is 
found so copiously that it has been necessary 
to form a drain from the laird's aisle. This 
place is denominated "the old Manse," the 
house in which the minister lived. 

In 1703 a church was built at the village of 
Hatton or Halltown, and in 1715 the minister 
was removed thither. This church is large 
and furnished with commodious galleries, but 
contains nothing remarkable. [The structure 
here referred to was superseded in 1821 by the 

p 2 



present parish church. Tho west end gable, 
with the belfry of the old building, is still 
standing.] The burial ground is largo, and is 
surrounded by a wall and ditch ; both, it is 
said, formerly of a considerable height and 
depth. . . 


There are no tombstones at Fintray to 
the memory of the earlier incumbents, but 
records show that in 1567 the parish was 
supplied by Alexander Harvie, reader, and 
by Thomas Flemyne, vicar and reader. 
Seven years later, Rev. John Quheit was 
minister of Fintray, with Dyce, Skene, and 
Kynnellar also in charge, the contemporary 
reader at Fintray and Dyce being Robert 
Wood. Five other incumbents were in- 
stalled before the close of the century, in- 
cluding R«v. Thomas Gardyne, who was 
afterwards minister of Tarves. In 1639, 
Rev. Andrew Abercrombie, M.A., was 
ordained to Fintray. He was son of Rev. 
Walter Abercrombie, minister of R:\yne, 
and grandson of Alexander Abercrombie, 
laird of Birkenbog. (Birth Brieves.) Spald- 
ing characterises him as " ane mayne 
Covenanter," and records that "his house 
and cornis were brynt up, and goods 
plunderit " by the soldiers of Montrose 
on 17th March, 1645. He married Mar- 
garet, daughter of James Forbes of Knock- 
andach, brother of Rev. Patrick Forbes of 
Corse, Bishop of Aberdeen. According to 
Row's Diary, he died on 22nd March, 1665, 
at the residence of his son Andrew. The 
succeeding incumbent was Rev. George 
Meldrum, translated from Alford 25th 
May, 1662. He died 23rd April, 1681. 
(Sess. Records.) Rev. Alexander Forbes 
was inducted from Kearn 17th July, 1681, 
but died in early manhood on 16th March, 
1693. He is described (Maidment's Cata- 
logue, p. 118) as "of the noble family of 
Pitsligo, born in Aberdeen . . . and 
expertessimus in mathematicks." His 
widow, Mrs Jean Forbes, in 1699. pur- 

chased the estate of Badifurrow, now 
known as Manar. 

Rev. Alexander Thomson, M.A., assistant 
at Old Machar, was admitted, 24th April, 
1693, on a presentation by Sir John Forbes 
of Craigievar. He had a keen fight with 
the Church Courts and Parliament respect- 
ing the validity of his appointment. In 
the end he was deposed by Parliament. In 
1699, Rev. Robert Burnett, M.A., formerly 
minister of Banchory-Ternan, was inducted. 
He was the eldest son of Thomas Burnett 
of Sauchen, whom he succeeded in that 
property in 1699. He married Jean, 
daughter of Rev. Robert Reid, minister 
of Banchory-Ternan, and, besides three 
daughters — Anne, Catherine, and Jean — 
they had three sons — Robert, who after- 
wards succeeded to Sauchen; Alexander; 
and John, who became parish minister of 
Cluny. Rev. Robert Burnett removed to 
Banchory-Ternan, and died there on 18th 
June, 1701, aged 53. Rev. James Hutchi- 
son, M.A., formerly minister of Newhills, 
was inducted 2nd July, 1702. He 
married Margaret, daughter of Captain 
William Keir, and they had at least two 
daughters — Catherine and FJizabeth. He 
died 26th February, 1712, and on 11th 
December of the same year Rev. William 
Osborne, son of Rev. James Osborne, Pro- 
fessor of Divinity in Marischal College, 
was admitted. He died in January, 1732, 
and on 25th October following Rev. 
Patrick Gordon, formerly minister of Lum- 
phanan, was inducted. He died 4th July, 
1744, and on 19th June, 1745, Rev. 
Samuel Copland, M.A., was ordained. He 
had the degree of D.D. in 1784, and was 
the father of Patrick Copland, LL.D., who 
for a lengthened period was Professor of 
Natural Philosophy in Marischal College. 
He died 18th February, 1795. 

A railed-in space contains a headstone 
and tablestone inscribed — 




Hero rest the remains of Agnes Jane the 
beloved daughter of James and Ellen Macintyre 
of Liverpool. While on a visit to a circle of 
friends in the locality, accompanied by an en- 
deared relative, it pleased God to afflict her 
with severe illness, and eventually to call her 
gentle and sanctified spirit to its eternal rest, 
at the adjoining Manse. Amidst the consola- 
tion of parental love she fell asleep in Jesus, 
on the morning of Wednesday 23rd June 1847, 
aged 12 vears. 


In memory of James Davidson who died in 
Cowstones of Fintray on 8th November 1833, 
in the 97th year of his age. Ann Johnston, 
his spouse, who died there on 15th November 
1807, aged about 69 years. Ann Leslie, their 
grandchild, who died in Manse of Fintray on 
31st July 1818, in the 20th year of her age. 
Jane Davidson, their daughter (spouse of Rev. 
John Leslie, minister of Fintray) who died 
2nd October 1846, in the 69th year of her age. 
The Rev. John Leslie (he was for 57 years 
minister of this parish) who died on the 31st 
May 1850, in the 88th year of his age. Kis 
second daughter Jane died the 8th August 
1853, aged 53 years. 

Rev. John Leslie, M.A., acted as school- 
master and ordained assistant to Rev. Dr 
Copland from 24th December, 1793. He 
officiated for many years as Presbytery 
clerk. Of his four sons, William, the 
third one, was, on 20th September, 1838, 
ordained assistant and successor; but, on 
his translation to Turriff in 1844, Rev. 
John Leslie resumed the whole duties of 
Fintray. Of five daughters, the youngest, 
Margaret, became the wife of George 
Black Bothwell, merchant, and for some 
time a magistrate of Aberdeen. 

Rev. James Gerrard Young was ordained 
in January, 1851, but four years later 
was translated to Monifeith. 

There is a headstone on a railed-in 
grave — 

In memory of The Rev. William Ogilvie, 
for 29 years Minister of this Parish, who died 
at the Manse on 6th May 1885, aged 62 years. 

And of his eldest son William Alexander, who 
died at Calcutta, 22nd February 1886, aged 
30 years. His fourth daughter, Annie Gordon, 
died at Aberdeen, 14th Octr 1889, aged 21 
years. His second son George Gordon died 
at Aberdeen 17th Novr 1889, aged 27 years. 
Also of Elizabeth Gordon wife of the above 
Rev. William Ogilvie, who died at Aberdeen 
on the 2nd April, 1901, aged 73 years. " Thy 
Will be done." 

Rev. William Ogilvie, M.A., who was a 
native of Keith, was educated at King's 
College, and for a time was schoolmaster 
of Spynie. In 1854, he became minister 
of the East Parish of St Nicholas, Aber- 
deen, but speedily found the duties of 
that city charge too trying for his health, 
which was never robust. On 8th 
December, 1855, he accepted a presenta- 
tion to Fintray, where he was held in 
high esteem. 

Rev. John Catto, M.A., the present in- 
cumbent, was translated to Fintray from 
New Pitsligo on 27th October, 1885. He 
acted as clerk to the Presbytery of Aber- 
deen for several years, but delicate health 
recently obliged him to demit that office. 


The lands of Fintray were granted as a 
share of the handsome endowment made 
by David, Earl of Huntingdon and the 
Garioch, brother of King William the Lion, 
in support of the Abbey of Lindores, which 
he had erected. Subsequently, Alexander 
II. erected the wood of Fyntrith into a 
forest for the preservation of the trees and 
game in favour of the Abbot and Convent. 
A branch of the Convent (designed as the 
Northern Abbey) is believed to have been 
erected at Fintray on the site now 
occupied by the principal burying ground. 
It is certain that the Abbot had a summer 
residence at Fintray, in which, in 1505, 
James IV. lodged while on a pilgrimage to 
St Duthac's shrine at Tain. No ruins of 



those buildings remain above ground, 
although occasionally the foundations are 
exposed when new graves are being dug. 
The date 1386 alleged to have »been seen 
upon one of the old stones may have been 
the date of the erection. 


The extensive estate of Fintray, which 
is now possessed by the Right Hon. John 
Forbes, 18th Baron Sempill, was, with 
other properties, acquired early in the 
seventeenth century by his ancestor, 
William Forbes of Menie, second son of 
William Forbes of Corse. These Forbeses 
descend from Patrick Forbes of Corse, 
who was created Baron O'Neil in 1476, and 
acted as armour-bearer to James III. He 
was the third son of James, second Lord 
Forbes, by his marriage with Lady 
Egidia Keith, daughter of William, Earl 
Marischal. William Forbes of Menie, 
while a young man, entered into mer- 
cantile business in Edinburgh and on the 
Continent. He became known amongst 
his friends by the familiar title of ' ' Mer- 
chant Willie." For a time he had a hard 
struggle to command success, but his 
energy and high character overcame every 
obstacle. It is recorded that he had fre- 
quently to apply for pecuniary assistance 
to his brother, Rev. Patrick Forbes, the 
saintly Bishop of Aberdeen. The latter at 
length got wearied lending, and inti- 
mated that nothing more would be ad- 
vanced. William, in his difficulty, how- 
ever, again requested a loan of a thousand 
merks, promising that a security bond for 
it would be furnished. On this under- 
standing, the bishop agreed to lend, and, 
at the appointed time, William called for 
the money. Being then asked who was to 
be guarantor, he replied, " God Almighty 
— I have none other to offer!" "Well, 
brother," said the bishop, " He is not to 
be rejected; you shall have the money; 

it is the first time that such a surety has 
been offered to me, but may God Almighty, 
jour bondsman, prosper you and see that 
it does you good." It is gratifying to be 
able to state that the speculations of the 
merchant were crowned with such success 
that he was not only able to repay with 
interest all that he had borrowed, but 
also to purchase the lands of Fintray, 
Craigievar, etc. By his wife, Margaret 
" Vdward," daughter of the Lord Provost 
of Edinburgh, he had a family of four 
sons and several daughters, and the eldest 
of the former — William, who was created 
a baronet of Nova Scotia by Charles I., 
in 1630 — is named along with his father 
in the Act of Parliament of 1621 by which 
they acquired the parsonages and vicar- 
ages, with the "richt of patronage" of 
the kirks of Fintray, Culsalmond, Kin- 
cardine O'Neil, Lumphanan, Midmar, 
Glentanner, and Cluny in Aberdeen- 
shire and Auchtertuill in Fifeshire, 
and likewise the teinds of all the 
towns and lands within the parishes of 
Christ's Kirk and Premnay — the whole 
being created into a free barony called 
- Logie-Fintray." (Acts Parlt., IV., 
1682-6.) The right of presentation to 
the first five of these churches remained 
in the hands of the Forbes family until 
the abolition of patronage in 1874. 

The above William Forbes, on acquiring 
the estate of Craigievar from the Mor- 
timers, found the castle but half built. 
He thereupon set about completing it, 
which he did in the most approved and 
sumptuous style of the period. He died on 
27th December, 1627, and is commemorated 
by Arthur Johnston, the Latin poet. 

An exhaustive genealogical deduction of 
the Forbes and Sempill families is given in 
Rev. Dr Temple's "The Thanage of Fer- 
martyn " (pp. 663-673). 

Fintray House, which is a large and 
beautiful mansion in the Tudor style, 



stands on an elevation on the left bank of 
the Don. The grounds are extensive and 
well wooded. 


These lands were acquired, in 1666, by 
George Skene, son of David Skene, Mill of 
Potterton. He amassed a fortune as a 
merchant in Dantzic, and was able to retire 
while comparatively young. He was elected 
Lord Provost of Aberdeen in 1676, and in 
1681 received the honour of knighthood. 
In 1687, he bought the estate of Rubislaw, 
and on his death on 9th April, 1707, aged 
88, was succeeded by his grand-nephew 
George Skene. Seventeen years earlier, 
however, he had settled the lands of Wester 
Fintray on his grand-niece, Giles Adie, and 
her husband, Alexander Skene of Skene, 
as a marriage portion. Miss Adie's father 
was David Adie of Newark and Easter 
Echt, baillie and burgess of Aberdeen, and 
her mother was Katherine Skene, Sir 
George Skene's niece. 


Another stone, shewing a cross, shield, 
initials, date, etc., has the inscription — 
Ion Sitovn of Disblir, deit the 1563. 

In the sixteenth century the lands of 
Disblair seem to have been divided into 
three separate portions, Easter, Middle, 
and Wester Disblair. Of these, Easter 
and Wester Disblair belonged to a branch 
of the powerful family of Seton. The 
above John Seton seems to have been suc- 
ceeded in these properties by William 
Setcn (probably a son), who married Mar- 
jory Tulydaf. In 1£66 they had a Crown 
Charter to the south part of the lands 
of Logyruff. (Great Seal Register 31, 
Nob. 529-30.) 

Middle Disblair was for some time in 
the possession of a branch of the John- 
ston family, of whom was William John- 

ston, whose son, John Johnston, was Lord 
Provost of Aberdeen in 1697. 

By deed dated 9th December, 1659, 
Catherine Rolland, widow of Dr William 
Guild, and proprietrix of Disblair, morti- 
fied the lands for the support and edu- 
cation of daughters of decayed Guild 
Burgesses of Aberdeen. In 1695, the pro- 
perty passed to Thomas Burnett, who, in 
the following year, sold it to Baillie 
William Forbes of Rubislaw. The last- 
named was succeeded by three daughters 
— Ann, Elizabeth, and Lilias — as heirs 
portioners. Ann married Joseph Far- 
quharson of Allanquoich ; Elizabeth was 
married to George Gordon, Professor of 
Hebrew in King's College; while Lilias 
became the wife of Thomas Gordon, some 
time humanist and afterwards Professor 
of Greek in King's College. 

In 1744, James Dyce, merchant in Aber- 
deen, eldest son of Andrew Dyce, merchant, 
Old Aberdeen, acquired Disblair by pur- 
chase. In 1716, he married Agnes, 
daughter of Baillie William Baxter, and 
they had a family of three daughters— 
Isobell, who became the wife of James 
Morison of Elsick, merchant, and for some 
time Provost of Aberdeen ; Janet, who 
became the second wife of George Burnett 
of Kemnay ; while Agnes, the youngest 
daughter, on the death of her father on 
10th January, 1751, succeeded to Disblair. 
She died unmarried on 22nd January, 1813, 
in her 86th year, when the estate fell to 
Thomas Morison, third and eldest surviv- 
ing son of Provost James Morison by his 
marriage with her sister Isobell. This 
Thomas Morison graduated M.D. at 
Marischal College, was for a time a sur- 
geon in the army, served in the American 
war, and was afterwards in practice as a 
physician in London. He brought into 
fame the beneficial properties of the springs 
at Strathpeffer, and rendered material aid 
in introducing vaccination into the north 



of Scotland. He acquired the estate of 
Elsick, and in 1826 entailed both it and 
Disblair upon a series of heirs, in con- 
formity with which his youngest brother, 
Rev. George Morison, D.D., minister of 
Banchory - Devenick, succeeded to both 
estates. The latter, who had been parish 
minister of Oyne for about three years, 
was inducted to Banchory-Devenick on 10th 
November, 1785. On 26th June following, 
he married Margaret Jaffray, daughter of 
Gilbert Jaffray of Kingswells, but they had 
no family. Mrs Morison died on 11th 
June, 1837, in her 80th year, while Dr 
Morison died, Father of the Church of 
Scotland, on 13th July, 1845, in the 88th 
year of his age, and 63rd of his ministry. 
His numerous acts of liberality at Disblair 
and Banchory-Devenick keep his memory 
green, notably his erection, in 1837, of the 
Suspension Bridge across the Dee at Cults, 
and his bequeathing a sum to maintain it 
in all time coming. He was succeeded in 
Disblair by his nephew Duncan, son of 
his sister Anne by her second marriage with 
Rev. Alexander Mearns, parish minister of 
Towie, and afterwards of Cluny. Duncan 
Mearns studied for the church, and for 
some time was parish minister of Tarves, 
from which he retired on his appointment, 
on 7th December, 1816, as Professor of 
Divinity in King's College. On 11th 
August, 1808, he married Elizabeth, 
daughter of William Forsyth, Huntly, and 
they had a large family. He had D.D. from 
his Alma Mater, was Moderator of the 
General Assembly of 1821, and died 2nd 
March, 1852, in the 73rd year of his age 
and 53rd of his ministry, when he was suc- 
ceeded in Disblair by his second surviving 
son, Rev. William Mearns. The latter 
was for sonic time parish minister of Glen- 
rinnes, and afterwards for a lengthened 
period of the parish of Kinneff. He had 
the degree of D.D. from the University of 
Aberdeen, was Moderator of the General 

Assembly in 1883, and died 5th October, 
1891, aged 76. In 1842 he married Mar- 
garet, daughter of Dr James Smith of 
Aldie, and (with one daughter, Jemima, 
who died in infancy) they had a son, 
Duncan George Mearns, who was (1874- 
96) parish minister of Oyne, and who is 
the present proprietor of Disblair and 
South Kinmundy. 


On a tablestone — 

Hier lyes Alexr. Watt, in hopes of a blised 
resarection who was farmer in Woodheed of 
Fintray. Died Deer. 23, 1760, aged 77. 

A tablestone near the entrance gate is 
inscribed — 

. . . Erected to the memory of The Rev. 
John Walker, who died 12th July, 1828, in the 
29th year of his age, as a last tribute of 
affection by his sorrowful parents; and also 
of his sister, Elizabeth, who died 5th Augt., 
1825, in the 18th year of her age. Also of his 
sister, Isobella, wife of John M'Douald, who 
died on 11th February, 1832, aged 36 years. 
And of their father, David Walker, late 
farmer in Blair of Fintray, who died at 
Mountbletton on 28th September, 1838, aged 
84 years. And Elspet Rennie, his spouse, who 
died on 15th November, 1836, aged 68 years. 

A headstone alongside the preceding 
(both are railed in) bears — 

Erected by Robert Walker, Esqr., Mont- 
bletton, in memory of his beloved spouse Jaue 
Pratt, who died at Montbletton the 7th day of 
December, 1876, aged 71 years. The above- 
named Robert W'alker, for 49 years farmer at 
Montbletton, died there the 10th day of 
February, 1880, aged 76 years. 

According to Logan, a sarcophagus was 
erected by James Melvin, Old Aberdeen, 
on the grave of his grandfather. Amongst 
other sculpture on it was an angel repre- 
sented as saying — 

As runs the glass my life did pass, 
Man's time knows none, but God alone! 



On one end were scriptural texts, and on 
the other the following verse — 

Tho' in the vale of death I tread, 
With gloomy horrors overspread ; 
My steadfast heart shall fear no ill. 
For thou my God art with me still. 

The principal inscription now reads — 

Revised by William Walker and Jessie 
Cocker, in affectionate remembrance of their 
son, William Walker, watchmaker, who died 
at Woodside, 30th December, 1865, aged 21 
years. The said William Walker died at 
Leeds, 7th April, 1876, aged 73 years. Also 
the said Jessie Cocker died at Leeds, 18th 
October, 1871, aged 57 years. 

The reprehensible practice of effacing 
old inscriptions by uew ones to persons 
more recently deceased was not uncommon. 
Indeed, it was quite usual for tombstones 
to be bequeathed by will. Quite recently 
there was lodged in Court a deed of 
settlement executed a dozen years ago, 
wherein a tombstone formed one of its 
few legacies. It is desirable, therefore, 
that heritors and graveyard managers 
should prohibit the removal of such stones, 
as also the obliteration of any inscription. 

A tablestone near the entrance gate is 
inscribed — 

Here lies the bodies of Andrew Cummin, 
sometime tenant in Castlehunger, who died 
April 3rd, 1801, aged 57 years and 9 months. 
Also his son John Cummen, who died January 
26, 1780, aged 3 days. Erected by his widow, 
Jannet Niven, who died 5th Dec, 1837, aged 
94 years. 

nonagenarians and their 

To two 
children — 

In memory of James Ellis, sometime Black- 
smith, afterwards Farmer in Cowstones, who 
died there on 11th November, 1827, in the 93rd 
year of his age. Also his wife Jean Hervey, 
who died on 8th May, 1835, aged 92 yearB. 
Also their daughter Jean, who died 19th 
February, 1847, aged 81 years. Also of Alex- 
ander Paterson, died 30th December, 1864, 
aged 66 years. 

A railed-in headstone near the centre 
walk bears — 

Erected by James Ogston, in memory of his 
sons, Alexander, who died at Aberdeen 15 
March, 1842, aged 9 years, and George who 
died at Wester Fintray, 4 May, 1846, aged 
16 years. Also his daughter Isabella, the 
esteemed wife of George Stephen, timber mer- 
chant, Port-Elphinstone, who died 3rd Novem- 
ber, 1854, aged 26 years. 

The word of God was their delight, 
And grace w as all their claim ; 
Now free'd from sin they rest within 
The new Jerusalem. 

Also Edward Ogston who died at Washing- 
ton, U.S., 22nd May, 1862> aged 22 years. Also 
James Ogston, poor inspector and collector for 
this parish, who died at Wester Fintray, 25ch 
July, 1863, aged 67 years. For 18 years 
ground officer to the Earl of Kintore and 17 
years forester to the Earl of Fyfe. Also John, 
his fifth son, accountant of the Barrgo Com- 
mercial, Monte Video, who died there on the 
28th October, 1875, in his 40th year. Also 
Isabella Webster, wife of the above James 
Ogston, who died at Kintore on 14th February, 
1897, aged 100 years. 

Mrs Isabella Webster or Ogston, the 
above centenarian, was a native of Old 
Deer. At her death, she had a son resi- 
dent in London, aged upwards of 75, 
whose son was organist of Windsor Parish 

A tablestone bears — 

Here lys James Anderson, Smith, late in 
Cowstanes, one, who living was loved by his 
friends, esteemed by his acquaintance, and 
dying was lamented by both. His widow has 
placed over him this monument as a testimony 
of her affection to so kind a husband. He was 
born the 5th of March 1705, and died the 6th 
June 1764, aged 59 years. 


In a railed-in portion of the area of the 
old church are three monuments, which 
are inscribed respectively — 

Sacred to the memory of John Croinbie, 



manufacturer, Cothal Mills, who died at Old 
Manse on the 6th May 1858, aged 86 years. 
And of his wife Catharine Harvey who died 
30th July 1864. aged 77 years. And of their 
children Catharine Crombie who died 15th 
November, 1830, aged 13 years. William Crom- 
bie who died 11th December 1832, aged 19 
years. Margaret Crombie who died 24th May 
1857, aged 42 years. 

James Crombie of Goval Bank. Born 13 
January 1810. Died 31 January 1878. 

Katherine Scott Forbes his wife. Born 1 
December 1812. Died 10 April 1893. 

Sacred to the memory of John Crombie. 
Born at Cothal Mills 21st February 1819. Died 
at Balgownie Lodge 16th November 1894. And 
to his wife Jane Sang. Born at Edinburgh 
24th July 1825. Died at Balgownie Lodge 8th 
December 1900. 

John Crombie (Insc. 1) in early years 
served in the cloth factory of Messrs 
Kilgour at Auohlee, Kinmundy. Early 
last century, under the title of Crombie 
and Co., he founded the woollen factory 
at Cothal, which attained considerable 
eminence, and employed upwards of one 
hundred hands. In 1854, the title of the 
firm was altered to J. and J. Crombie, 
and six years later the manufactory was 
removed to Grandholm, which had been 
purchased from Leys, Masson, and Co. 
Messrs Crombie have secured a world-wide 
reputation for the superior quality of 
their manufactures of tweeds and other 
cloth. John Crombie married Catharine 
Harvey, daughter of William Harvey, who 
for the long period of 57 years was farmer 
at Monykebbock, New Machar. James 
Crombie (Insc. 2) was their eldest son, 
while John Crombie (Insc. 3) was a 
younger son. Of the family of the last- 
named, John William is M.P. for Kincar- 
dineshire, and James Edward is one of the 
partners of the Grandholm business re- 
ferred to. 


In memory of Hf.llen Tough, spouse to John 
Henry in Aberdeen, who died 21st March, 1820, 
aged 32. Also of their daughter Elizabeth, who 
died 28th December, 1817, aged 8 years. Also 
of their son Aurther, who died 1st April 1820, 
aged 20 months. 

Beneath this mouldering clods who once had 

Lies the fond mother and the faithful wife, 
Like to the tender flour cut in its bloom 
So lovely Hellen met an early tomb. 

Erected by Alexander Philip, shipmaster in 
Aberdeen, in memory of his daughter Christian, 
who died 31st May, 1824, aged 14 years. 

Now slain by death, who spareth none, 
I lye full low beneath this stone, 
Take heed and read, and thou shalt see 
As I am now so shalt thou be 
Rotting in dark and silent dust. 
Prepare for death, for die you must, 
Life is uncertain, death is sure, 
Sin is the wound, Christ is the cure. 

In memory of Margaret Anderson, daughter 
of John Anderson, farmer, Heughhead, who 
died 23rd November, 1824, aged 34 years. Also 
John Anderson, her father, who died 17th 
August, 1833, aged 88 years. Also his wife, 
Jean Crockert, who died the 29th of March, 
1853, aged 94 years. 
Tho' now I mingle with my kindred clay, 
I once like you admir'd the face of day, 
And died in hope to view with keener eye 
A happier world and a fairer sky. 
Then learn this lesson from the lowly dead. 
To some green turf be oft thy footsteps led ; 
and musing on the eternal King of Kings, 
Think on the state of sublunary things. 

And their daughter, Agnes, who died the 16th 
of February, 1854, aged 50 years. Also their 
daughter, Elspet, who died 1st December, 1873. 
aged 79 years. 


Erected in memory of Mitchell Duncan, who 
died at Torryleith on the 1st of February, 1838, 



in the 63rd year .... for more than 32 
years the amiable and affectionate spouse of 
James Mackenzie, farmer there, who died at 
Torryleith on the 18th of March, 1859, aged 77 

The spring will come, but not for me, 
The leaves will clothe the forest tree ; 
The spring will come, and flowers will bloom. 
But t'will be o'er my grassy tomb. 

The parish has had several eminent 
teachers, among whom may be named 
Patrick Mitchell, afterwards Rev. Dr 
Mitchell, parish minister of Keinnay ; 
Joseph Paterson, who for a time was tutor 
to Lord Byron, and afterwards Rev. Dr 
Paterson, minister of Montrose ; also Rev. 
William Forbes, who died on 28th Febru- 
ary, 1838, 'aged 45. 


Stone-axes, flint arrow heads, etc., have 
frequently been met with in the parish, 
while urns and calcined bones have been 
unearthed. In the graveyard of St 
Medan's, about 35 years ago, a bishop's 
silver triangular ring was found. It bore 
the sacred monogram I. H. S., and was in- 
scribed M A R I. A replica of it is pre- 
served in the Antiquarian Museum in 

No relic of a past age attracts more at- 
tention than the massive stone vault 
erected to withstand the depredations of 
the resurrectionists. It stands in the prin- 
cipal graveyard, and has walls about three 
feet in thickness. It is entered by an iron 
door, on the lintel stone of which is the 
date 1830. 

On the lintel stone of the recess in the 
east end of the north wall of the Church 
of St Medan's is a representation of the 
crucifixion of Christ, which would imply 
that the structure has been elected prior 
to the Reformation. 

The oldest silver communion cup bears 
the inscription — 

For the Holie Commvnion, at Fintray. Mr 
Adam Barclay, minister, 1633. 

Traditiou states that the cup was formed 
from a silver head of St Medan, which in 
Popish times " was wont to be carried 
through the parish in procession, for the 
purpose of bringing down rain or clearing 
up the weather, as circumstances might 

Remains of the old barony jail at Hatton 
are still standing. 

In Rev. John Catto's "Jottings," 
already referred to, interesting extracts 
are given, both from the kirk-session 
records and barony court books of Logie- 


" A short distance westward of Hatton 
is an ancient burial ground. It is small, 
and is named ' The Chapel Yard,' but there 
are no vestiges of any building, although 
there had probably been a small cell or 
chapel for the relief of the parish church, 
then some miles distant." (Logan's MS.) 
Possibly this was the site of the church of 
St Giles. 

There are about two dozen tombstones 
in this graveyard, the larger proportion 
being of modern date. 

The oldest stone, which is a table one, 
is inscribed — 

Here lyis the bodies of Andrew Phillip, late 
farmer in Barwick of Fintray, who died 
March, the 4th, 1748, aged 69 years. As also 
his spouse, Marjory Knight, who died Febru- 
ary, the 15th, 1768, aged 68 years. As also 
Andrew Phillip, his son, who died April the 
12th 1774, aged 49 years. Also Elspet Phillip, 
his daughter, who died in Barwick, 1st Janu- 
ary, 1793, aged 65 years. 

The name Barwick is now altered to 



A second tablestone records the names of 
three persons who reached advanced ages — 

In memory of John Sievewright, late 
farmer in Hatton, who died March 16th, 1795, 
aged 82 years; and Isobel Brown, his spouse, 
who died March 27th, 1792, aged 76. And 
George, his son, who died November 14th, 
1773, aged 22. Also of his son William, late of 
(lie house of Messrs Bulkeloy and Son, London, 
who died September 1st, 1815, aged 59. 

Erected by Elizabeth Sievewright, who died 
the 14th January, 1848, aged 96 years. Also 
her son, William Cock, who died October, 1784, 
aged 6 weeks. 

A third tablestone commemorates three 
generations of wriglits, who reached ad- 
vanced ages, thus — 

In memory of Alexander Sinclair, w right at 
Fintray House, who died 23rd May, 1791, aged 
93 years. Also of Elizabeth Gordon, his 
spouse, who died 15th December, 1791, aged 
87. Likewise of Alexander Sinclair, wright 
at Keith-hall, who died 17th January, 1812, 
aged 79. And of Janet Law, his spouse, who 
died 4th April, 1808, aged 76. Also of Alex- 
ander, their son, who died 18th September, 
1787, aged 26. Likewise of their daughters, 
Mary, who died 15th October, 1808, aged 42; 
and of Jean, who died 13th February, 1789, 
aged 24. 

Alexander Sinclair, wright, died 8th April, 
1876, aged 65 years. 

Two tablestones are inscribed as under — 


Her© lies in hopes of a blessed resurrection 
the body of Alexander Youngson, some time 
blacksmith in Foulpool, in the parish of Old 
machar. He died 28th June, 1787, aged 70 

This stone was placed here by his affection- 
ate widow, Christian Simpson. 

Here lies in hopes of a blessed resurrection 
the bodies of John Sharp, some time farmer 
in Easter Ilattouu of Fintray, who departed 
this life in the year 1752, aged 42 years. Also 
John Sharp, his Mjn, who died in the year 
1748. aged 7 years. Also James Sharp, hia 

son, who died said year, aged on year. Like- 
wise Alexander Sharp, his son, who died in 
the year 1767, aged 21 years. Also Margaret 
Sharp, his daughter, who died in 1769, aged 
30 years. Likewise John Sharp, his son, who 
died said year, aged 19 years. Likewise Jean 
Booth, his spouse. She died 29th April, 1792, 
in the 80th year of her age. Also Christian 
Sharp, died 26th November, 1823, aged 81 


The old churchyard of St Medan's at 
Cothal, referred to by Logan, is still occa- 
sionally used for interments. It is well 
sheltered, and in the summer season pre- 
sents a profusion of greenery and flower 
blossom which would be difficult to match. 
There are several ancient tombstones, some 
of which are illustrated in Rev. John 
Catto's brochure alluded to. One, pre- 
senting a shield with a coat of arms, with 
other emblems, and the initials " H. C." 
and " M. L.," bears the inscription — 

Hendri Chalmer, decsit, 1504. His vif M. 
Lesli, deit 1520. A. Chalmer. 1541. 

The probability is that the first-named in 
the above inscription is the Henry Chalmer 
who, in 1498, had sasine as heir to Mar- 
garet Kintore, his mother, in certain lands 
in the haugh of Kintore. In the same 
year, Chalmer conveyed to Master Duncan 
Shearer, canon of Aberdeen and rector of 
Clatt, certain rents arising from these 
lands. (Autiq., III., pp. 235-236.) The 
M. Lesli, named in the inscription as the 
wife of Chalmer, was possibly Margaret, 
daughter of William Leslie in Auquhorsk. 
Various members of the family held in- 
fluential positions in the parish and dis- 
trict. Of these may be cited William 
Chalmer, who, in 1584, held the office of 
Chamberlain of Lindores Abbey and lands. 
(Grant Leslie's MS.) Seventeen years 
later, four persons bearing the surname 
hold office as parish elders. 



Modern tombstones record the deaths of 
William Warrack, factor for Craigievar 
and Fintray for upwards of 35 years, who 
died at NewmiU 3rd March, 1885, aged 
77 ; of his wife, Margaret Strachan, who 
died 17th July, 1892, aged 77; of their 
sons, John, who died 26th May, 1868, aged 
20; and Arthur F., postmaster, Kiutore, 
who died 22nd February, 1884, aged 32; 
of Archibald M'Gillivray, late farmer, Bal- 
craig, Keith-hall, who died 6th May, 1840, 
aged 79 ; of his wife, Jane Clark, who died 
at Buruside, Fintray, on 26th May, 1857, 
aged 93; and their son, Archibald, who 
died at Balcraig on 19th March, 1821, 
aged 22. 


The parish of Udny was erected by Act 
of Parliament in December, 1597, the 
ground assigned to it being taken from the 
older parishes of Foveran, Ellon, Logie- 
Buchan, and Tarves. Long before this, 
however, a church stood at Udny, which 
had been dedicated to Jesus Christ. A 
new church was erected in 1600, and, ac- 
cording to the Presbytery Records, it was 
of plain design and thatched with heather. 
Logan's MS., written early last century, 
gives the following particulars respecting it 
and the parish — 

Tho kirk of Udney is situated about 15 miles 
from Aberdeen, end adjoins the parish of Ellon, 
which lies eastward. The parish of Udney is 
computed five miles square, and was formed 
about the end of the 16th, or beginning of the 
17th century, of part of Tarves, Ellon, Logie- 
Buchan, and Foveran ; and, in proof of this, 
one heritor still pays teind to the minister of 
Logie, and five pay to the clergyman of Ellon. 

The church is called Christ's Kirk, and the 
surrounding village is called " the green," from 
which it has been supposed to be the place where 
King James I. witnessed those rustic sports 
which he celebrates as having been performed 

at "'Christ's Kirk, on the green." The author 
of Caledonia decides (he locality of this cele- 
brated poem in favour of a decayed church. 
. . . in the district called the Garioeh; but 
the existence of a market, held in the church- 
yard, and the same dedication do not give it 
a stronger claim than Christ's Kirk on "the 
green " of Udney. [It will be noted that Allan 
Ramsay names Leslie, in Fife, as the place 
celebrated in the poem, and that, with the view 
of confirming the erroneous assertion, a slab 
has been fixed over the church door there bear- 
ing the following inscription — " Our Lord Jesus 
Christ's Kirk on the Green, Leslie. Rebuilt 

The church is long and narrow, and is so very 
low in the walls that boys frequently amuse 
themselves by climbing to the bell, which hangs 
at the west end, by the ''corbie steps," with 
which the gables are finished. 

It was built about 1600, and partly rebuilt in 
1760. It underwent a thorough repair in 1786, 
but is still very small, inconvenient, and much 
too small for the parish. The galleries and pews 
although mostly old and very curious are ill 
arranged, placed very near each other, and arc 
kept in a state of utter neglect. The pulpit is a 
curious specimen of taste and carpentry, and 
appears, from the initial letters, to have been 
constructed during the ministry of Mr Thoires 
— beginning of the 17th century. The east 
gallery, or that of the laird, is of a peculiar 
form, and has been much ornamented with 
painting of coat armour, etc. The west gallery 
is panneled in a singular manner, and is 
painted white. 

Next the north wall is a sort of little pro- 
jecting platform, which is the cutty 6tool. on 
which delinquents "bade the reproof" of the 

The bell is cracked, and bears the inscription 
here given from a boy who went up to it at 
my request: — "Mr Robert Innes min. John 
Mowat, me fecit. Old Aberdeen 1744. In 
usum ecclesiae de Udney. Sabata pango. 
Funera plango. . ." 

[The bell thus described by Logan had no 
doubt been disposed of, as the present bell bears 
the inscription, " Christ's Kirk of Green of 
Udny, 1821."] 

A ruinous stone stair outside the east end of 
the kirk gable, leads to Udney's loft. The 
highest step, or that in the landing, has been 



taken from the churchyard : it bears the inscrip- 
tion ■ Here lie*. ION TOUGH. . ." 

The foregoing commentary by Logan 
accurately describes the old church and its 
equipment. Not a vestige remains above 
the ground, the levelling up and improve- 
ments having swept away the last of the 
old walls. 

hi 1821, a commodious new church was 
erected on a site on the upper border of 
"the green." It has a belfry and clock, 
underneath which is the entrance door. 


The first settled minister of the parish 
was Rev. Thomas Mitchell, who is said to 
have been a relative of Bishop Patrick 
Forbes of Aberdeen. He was admitted 
25th April, 1604, but about 1622 received 
a presentation to the parish of Logie- 

Rev. Thomas Thoirs was appointed in 
1623. He is described as having been a 
"great anti-Covenanter," and appears to 
have had much trouble during the religious 
struggle. Having a considerable income 
from his estates of Auquhorthies, etc., he 
was enabled to smooth over many diffi- 
culties. In May, 1639, Montrose, with his 
men and horses, put up for a night in the 

In 1653, Rev. William Keith, previously 
minister of Montkeggie, was inducted. He 
was a brother of George Keith of Lentush. 
In 1664, he waselected Professor of Divinity 
in the University of Edinburgh, securing 
shortly after the pastorate of St Cuth- 
bert's. He had the degree of D.D. 

The succeeding incumbent was Rev. 
George Melville, M.A., who remained for 
only five years, being elected minister of 
Alford in 1668. His name is remembered 
chiefly through his having left a consider- 
able legacy equally between King's and 
Marischal Colleges. 

Rev. William Irving succeeded, but died 
in 1675. 

Rev. John Cockburn, nephew of Patrick 
Forbes, Bishop of Aberdeen, was the next 
incumbent, but he was translated to Old 
Deer in 1681. 

Rev. Alexander Milne. M.A.. sometime 
governor to William, Lord Keith, after- 
wards Earl Marischal, was admitted 1st 
January, 1682. He died in 1721, survived 
by his wife, Agnes Paterson. He was the 
last Episcopal incumbent. 

In 1722, Rev. Robert Innes, son of 
Patrick Innes, Drumhead, Belhelvie, was 
ordained. He died 20th July, 1755, sur- 
vived by at least one son, James, merchant 
in Aberdeen. 

A tablestone commemorates the succeed- 
ing incumbent — 

Here lies interred the corpse of the Reverend, 
Faithful, and diligent minister of God's Word, 
Mr John Forbes, who died the 22 of April 1763. 
in the 32nd year of his age, and 8th of h)9 
laborious ministry in the Parish of Udny. 

The left side of the stone reads — 

Under this side lies also interred the corpse 
of Jean Forbes, his daughter, who died in the 
4th year of her age, on the 15th of April 176'!. 

Rev. John Forbes was the son of George 
Forbes, schoolmaster, Foveran, and was 
ordained minister of Udny 7th April, 1756. 
On 17th November, 1757, he married Mary 
Seton, who survived him for the long 
period of 46 years. 

The succeeding incumbent was Rev. 
George Adam, who was ordained to I'dny 
on 28th March, 1764. In 1767 he was 
translated to Kintore. 

Within a large railed-in reserved space 
are a table and mural stone, which are in- 
scribed respectively — 

To the memory of The Rev. John Rose, the 
faithful and pious minister of this parish dur- 
ing 45 years, who died on the 17th Nov 1812, 
aged 65 years and 3 months. Through life his 



conduct was most upright, and he was justly 
beloved and respected by all around him. He 
was charitable to the poor, a kind and tender 
husband, and most affectionate parent. His 
remains arc interred in this tomb, with those 
of Mrs Grace Reid, his first wife, a most 
virtuous and most amiable woman, who died 
on the 29th June 1793. aged 51 years; and of 
four of their children— Lewis, James, Alex- 
ander, and Jessy w ho died in their early youth ; 
also of three children of his second marriage 
with Mrs Anne Mair, who died in their in- 

His widow, three surviving sons, and a 
daughter placed a stone sacred to his memory 
and to that of his family who had gone before 

Also of Mrs Ann Mair. his widow, who died 
on the 19th of Octr 1817 aged 56 years, deeply 
lamented by her family and all who knew her. 

The above stone having fallen into decay was 
replaced in 1875 by the Trustees of James 
Torrie, M.D. 


Sacred to the memory of Mary Ann Rose, 

wife of James Torrie, M.D., who died — June 

1825. aged 25 years; also to James Torrie, 

M.D.. who died 26 October 1873, aged 83 years. 

Rev. John Rose, M.A., was the son of 
George Rose, goldsmith and burgess of 
Aberdeen, grandson of Alexander Rose of 
Lethenty, previously of Insch, and great- 
grandson of Dr John Rose, minister of 
Foveran, and proprietor of Insch. His 
uncle, Rev. John Rose, was minister of 
Logie-Buchan. Of the large family by the 
two marriages, Lewis, who died 7th Decem- 
ber, 1792, aged 18, was an under master 
in Gordon's Hospital. Of four other 
sens whose names are not mentioned in 
the inscriptions, George, the eldest, was 
surgeon to the 1st Battalion, Coldstream 
Guards, and died of wounds received at 
Aboukir in 1801. John, in 1794, became 
a law apprentice in Aberdeen, and sub- 
sequently entered the Civil Service in 
Ceylon, while two younger sons settled in 
London. Mrs Torrie was the only sur- 
viving daughter of the second marriage. 

Her husband, Dr Torrie, was a physician 
in Aberdeen, and for some time acted as 
Lecturer on Institutes of Medicine in 
Marischal College. He founded a bur- 
sary of the annual value of £30 or thereby, 
tenable for four years, and open for com- 
petition to students in arts for proficiency 
in Latin. 

Two headstones alongside each other are 
inscribed respectively — 

The Rev. John Leslie, died 1st November. 
1849. in the 77th year of his age, and 37th of 
his ministry in this parish. 

Erected by the Rev. John Leslie in memory 
of his wife, Anne Hector, who died on the 28th 
February, 1862, in the 31st year of her age. 
The above Rev. John Leslie died on the 15th 
July, 1875, in the 58th year of his age, and 25th 
of his ministry in this parish. John, elder son 
of the Rev. John Leslie, died at Aberdeen, 9th 
June, 1876, aged 19 years. 

Rev. John Leslie (Insc. 1), son of 
Andrew Leslie, Keith, was for a time tutor 
at Esslemont House, being ordained to 
Udny on 15th September, 1813. 

Rev. John Leslie, M.A. (Insc. 2), was 
nephew of the preceding, and the son of 
Robert Leslie, farmer, Forgie, Keith. 
He and his family are referred to in the 
notes upon Pittrichie. 

Rev. Alexander Spence, M.A., the pre- 
sent incumbent, is the fourteenth in suc- 
cession from the time of the formation 
of the parish. He acts as clerk to the 


During a vacancy early last century, the 
pulpit supply fell alternately to the mem- 
bers of Presbytery and a probationer en- 
gaged by the congregation. The minister 
of Logie-Buchan officiated one Sunday, 



and preached from the text Genesis xxv., 
27 — "Jacob was a plain man dwelling in 

touts." He was followed on the next 
Sunday by the minister of Ellon, who is 
said to have sometimes got the loan of a 
lew MSS. from the Logie-Buchan reposi- 
tory, and, as ill-luck would have it, the 
'• Jacob" discourse was selected and again 
preached. On the succeeding Sunday the 
probationer was to preach, and it was 
skilfully arranged that be should use the 
same sermon. Knowing nothing of the 
trick, he, in solemn terms, gave out the 
text — '.' Jacob was a plain man dwelling in 
tents," when the village blacksmith, in a 
voice loud enough to be heard over the 
whole church, exclaimed— " The deil dwall 
'im — lie's dwalt here lang eneuch already!" 
It is but fair to add that, although 
similar versions of this story are given in 
Rev. Dr Paul's "Past and Present of 
Aberdeenshire" and Rev. Dr Temple's 
" Thanage of Fermartyn," the likelihood 
is that they have been improved upon. At 
all events, James Logan, author of "The 
Scottish Gael," who personally visited the 
parish within a year or two after the 
occurrence, records in his MS. that 
the text was " on a passage concerning 
Nathan the Prophet," and that all that 
the " smith " was heard to impatiently ex- 
claim was "D n Nathan the Prophet!" 


The lands at Pitmedden at an early 
period belonged to various members of a 
family named Panton, whose cadets, ac- 
cording to Stodart, "held Tillymade, 
Blackhouse, Craig, Hilton, and held Haddo 
in wadset at the close of the fifteenth, and 
early in the sixteenth, century. In the 
eighteenth century the name had dis- 
appeared as landed proprietors." 

In 1619, Pitmedden was purchased by 
James Seton, of Bourtie, second eon of 
William Seton of Meldrum, by his second 

wife, Margaret, daughter of Innes of 
Leuchars. He married Margaret Rolland, 
granddaughter of William Rolland, Master 
of the Mint at Aberdeen in the reign of 
James V. ; and, with a son James, who is 
commemorated by Dr Arthur Johnston's 
complimentary epitaph, they had an elder 
son, Alexander, who succeeded to Bourtie 
and Pitmedden. He married Beatrix, 
daughter of Sir Walter Ogilvy of Dunlugas, 
and sister of George, first Lord Banff, and 
they had a family of one son and nine 
daughters. The son John, who succeeded 
to Pitmedden, etc., in 1637, was a staunch 
Royalist during the Covenanting wars. 
He fell at the battle of Bridge of Dee in 
June, 1639. Being a gallant soldier, a 
handsome man, and only 28 years of age, 
his untimely fate was greatly deplored. A 
cairn was raised to his memory at the Two- 
Mile-Cross (both have since been removed), 
while he is celebrated in ballad lore as 
"Bonny John Seton o' Pitmedden." He 
married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Samuel 
Johnston of Elphinstone, and they had a 
family of at least two sons. The eldest 
son James succeeded, but, during his long 
minority, suffered considerable hardships 
on account of his father's loyalty, Pit- 
medden being more than once plundered by 
the Covenanters, and its rents seized. He 
died of wounds received in the naval attack 
by the Dutch on the English fleet at Chat- 
ham in 1667. He was succeeded by his 
younger brother Alexander, who, in 1661, 
passed as advocate, in 1664 was knighted, 
and twenty years later was created a 
baronet of Nova Scotia. In 1667, he was 
made a Lord of Session, and took his seat 
on the bench as " Lord Pitmedden." He 
represented the county of Aberdeen in the 
Scottish Parliament for several years. He 
rebuilt the mansion-house of Pitmedden, 
and laid out its beautiful garden and 
grounds. He married Margaret, daughter 
and heiress of William Lauder, one of 



the Clerks of Session, and they had 
a large family. The second son, George, 
was proprietor of Mounie, and ancestor 
of Lient. -Colonel Alexander Seton, whose 
heroic and self-sacrificing conduct on 
board H.M.S. Birkenhead, when sink- 
ing after striking a rock in Table Bay in 
1S52, led to the saving of the numerous 
women and children on board. Sir Alex- 
ander Seton died on 29th May, 1719, and 
was succeeded by his eldest son, William, 
as second baronet. He represented the 
county of Aberdeen in the Scottish Parlia- 
ment from 1702, and was one of the Com- 
missioners appointed to treat for the 
Union between England and Scotland. 
He married, in 1702, Catherine, daughter 
of Sir Thomas Burnett of Leys, Bart., and 
they had a family of five sons and four 
daughters. Sir "William died in 1744, and 
was succeeded by his son, Alexander, who 
died in 1751, and was succeeded by his 
younger brother, William. The next pro- 
prietor and baronet was Archibald, 
brother of the preceding. He married 
Elizabeth Innes, who had her terce 
awarded in 1775. Sir Archibald was suc- 
ceeded by his nephew, William, son of his 
deceased youngest brother, Charles. 

Within an enclosure in the parish 
churchyard is a mural tablet — 

Here lie interred Sir William Seton, Baronet. 
Died 26th February, 1818, aged 71. Margaret, 
Lady Seton. Died 21st April, 1843, aged 89. 
Anna Maria Seton. Died 12th April, 1863, aged 

Eliza Henrietta. Lady Seton. Died 23rd 
April, 1873, aged 69. Sir William Coote Seton. 
Baronet. Died 30th December, 1880, aged 72 

Margaret, the first Lady Seton, men- 
tioned in the above inscription, was 
daughter of James Ligertwood of Tillery, 
and she and her husband, Sir W T illiam, had 
a family of three sons and two daughters 
— Charles, who died in infancy; James, 

major, 92nd Highlanders, who was killed 
in the Peninsular War in 1814 ; William, 
an officer in the H.E.I.C.S., who died 
unmarried ; Jean, who married Alexander 
Leslie, merchant, Glasgow ; and the above- 
mentioned Anna Maria. 

Sir William Coote Seton, named in the 
inscription, was son of the above Major 
James Seton through his marriage with 
Frances, daughter of Captain George 
Coote, nephew of Sir Eyre Coote. On 
the death of his grandfather, he succeeded 
as seventh baronet. He married, on 26th 
November, 1834, Eliza Henrietta, second 
daughter of Henry Lumsden of Cushnie, 
and widow of Captain John Wilson, 
H.E.I.C.S., and they had a family 
of five sons and three daughters — 
James Lumsden, captain, 1st Madras 
Fusiliers; William Samuel, H.E.I.C.S. : 
Henry, who entered the Church ; 
Matthew, who became a barrister- 
at-law ; Charles, a captain in the army ; 
Eliza, who, in 1873, married Dr David 
Dyco Brown ; Magdalene Frances, who, in 
1870, married Arthur Talbot Bevan ; and 
Frances. Sir William rebuilt the mansion- 
house of Pitmedden. 

He was succeeded by his eldest son, 
James Lumsden Seton, who served in the 
first Burmese war and throughout the 
whole of the Indian Mutiny. He married, 
in 1870, Elizabeth, daughter of Mr George 
Castle, Oxford, and died without issue, on 
28th September, 1884, when his immediate 
younger brother, William Samuel Lumsden 
Seton, succeeded as ninth baronet. He 
for a time served in the navy, and, after- 
wards entering the army, was present with 
the 4th Rifles at the battle of Kandahar 
in 1880. He married, in 1876, Eva Kate 
St Leger, only daughter of Lieut. -General 
Henry Hastings Affleck Wood, C.B. He 
was the last Seton of Pitmedden, the pro- 
perty having been sold, in December, 1893, 
to Alexander Keith, Chapelton, Ellon. Mr 



Keith, who was an extensive and successful 
farmer, married a daughter of the late 
Charles Milne, Mains of Essie mont. He 
died on 3rd March, 1903, aged 62 years. 


A built-in space in the parish graveyard 
contains several tablet monuments, which 
are inscribed respectively — 

Erected a.d. 1856, by Alexander Milne of 
Pittrichie, in memory of 


His mother, Ann Duncan, who died at Pit- 
trichie House, 27th September, 1840, aged 70 
years. His father, John Milne, for 47 years 
farmer at Mill of Grandhome, who died at 
Pittrichie House, 24th November, 1861, aged 94 

The above Alexander Milne of Pittrichie. 
sometime merchant and Dean of Guild of the 
City of Aberdeen, died there, 23rd November, 
1869, aged 74 years, and was interred here. 


Ann Milne, his sister, who died at Pittrichie 
House, 13th March, 1843, aged 38 years. John 
Milne, his brother, who died at Perth, 10th 
June, 1855, aged 56 years. William Milne, his 
brother, who died in infancy, at Mill of 
Grandhome, 1803, who are all interred in the 
churchyard of Old Machar. Barbara Milne, 
his sister, spouse of Convener James Robb, 
died at Aberdeen, 26th December, 1872, aged 
76 years. 


George Robb of Pittrichie, sometime mer 
chant and Treasurer of the City of Aberdeen. 
Born 7th February, 1827. Died 14th June, 1876. 
An affectionate and dutiful son, a loving and 
beloved brother. 


Rev. John Robb of Pittrichie, sometime 
minister of Longside, was born 14th January, 
1814, and died 17th July, 1899. His wife, Jane 
Isabella Lawrence, was born 23rd May, 1841, 
and died 17th February, 1898. 

They were interred at Longside. 

The lands of Pittrichie for a lengthened 
period belonged to members of a family 

named Maitland, who were also owners of 
Netherdale and other properties in the dis- 
trict. They claimed descent from Robert, 
third son of Sir Robert Maitland of Thirl- 
stane, who flourished in the time of David 
II., and married the heiress of Gight. 
(Douglas Peerage.) Richard Maitland of 
Pittrichie was created a baronet in 1672, 
and, on his being appointed a Lord of 
Session, he assumed the title of Lord Pitt- 
richie in honour of his patrimonial estate. 
He married Margaret, daughter of Robert 
Gordon of Straloch, and at his decease, on 
22nd February, 1677, was succeeded by his 
eldest son, Richard, who had secured a 
Crown charter to the barony of Gight or 
Sheves, five years before. In 1674, how- 
ever, Gight was sold to Charles, Earl of 
Aboyne. (Aboyne Records, p. 337.) Sir 
Richard Maitland, the second baronet, 
died in 1699, and was succeeded by his 
brother, Charles. He married Jane, 
daughter of Sir John Forbes of Mony- 
musk, Bart., and, secondly, Nichola, 
daughter of Peter Young of Auldbar, and 
widow of Sir Alexander Burnett of Craig- 
myle. He was M.P. for Aberdeenshire in 
1685-6. He died in 1700, and was suc- 
ceeded by his only son, Charles, who died 
about three years later, without issue, 
when the baronetcy lapsed. He was suc- 
ceeded by his sister, Jean, and her hus- 
band, the Hon. Alexander Arbuthnott, 
third son of the second Viscount Arbuth- 
nott. On their succeeding to Pittrichie. 
they assumed the surname and arms or 
Maitland. Charles Arbuthnott Maitland, 
their only son, succeeded in 1746. He was 
called to the Scottish Bar, and in 1747 was 
nominated Sheriff of Midlothian. He was 
elected M.P. for the Aberdeen burghs in 
1748, and held the position till his death 
in 1751. He was succeeded by his cousin, 
Arthur Forbes (he assumed the surname 
and arms of Maitland), son of Mary Mait- 
land, daughter of the third baronet, who 



had married Thomas Forbes of Echt. He 
was a major in the Dutch service, and, 
marrying a Dutch lady, was succeeded by 
his grandson, Arthur Richard Forbes 
Maitland. from whom and his trustees 
Pittrichie and other properties were sold 
to Rev. James Mackenzie, who died in 
1816, and was succeeded by his son, James 
William Mackenzie, who, in 1819, erected 
the mansion-house and greatly improved 
the estate. He married, on 24th October, 
1816, Georgina, eldest daughter of Keith 
Turner of Turnerhall, and from him the 
above Alexander Milne purchased the 
property. Mr Milne's parentage and de- 
signation are given in the first portion of 
the foregoing inscription. He bequeathed 
the property of his nephew, George Robb, 
merchant, and sometime treasurer of the 
City of Aberdeen, son of James Robb, con- 
vener of the Incorporated Trades of Aber- 
deen, by his marriage with Barbara Milne, 
sister of the said Alexander Milne. Mr 
George Robb rendered efficient service as a 
Justice of the Peace, and at his death, in 
1876, Pittrichie passed to his brother, Rev. 
John Robb, sometime minister of Long- 
side, whose wife was a daughter of Dr 
Nathaniel Lawrence, Longside. 

A portion of Pittrichie, with Auchin- 
huive. went to the following four surviv- 
ing children of Rev. John Leslie, minister 
of Udny, who had married Anne Hector, 
only child of Susan Milne, sister of the 
above Alexander Milne by her marriage 
with John Hector, farmer, Scotstown, and 
subsequently at Mains of Pittrichie— 
Susan Hector, who, in 1880, married Rev. 
George Greig, minister of Slains, and died 
in 1883, leaving an only child, Susan 
Hector Milne ; Annabella, who, in 1887, 
married Rev. A. M'Kenzie, minister of 
Coull, and has two daughters and one 
son ; Alexander Milne, who (in addition 
to his property of Auchinhuive) succeeded 
to the mansion-house lot of Pittrichie on 

the death of his second cousin — Rev. John 
Robb — and now resides at the mansion- 
house there ; and Barbara Janet, who re- 
sides at 14 Queen's Road, Aberdeen. 


The estate of Tilliecorthie is believed to 
have originally had a castle, or at least a 
mansion-house, but no trace remains. 

The first owners of whom records exist 
were the Udnys of Udny. In 1511, James 
IV. confirmed a charter by Ranald Udny 
to David Gardyne of Kynansith and Janet 
Tulloich, his wife, of half of the lands of 
Tilliecorthie. (Antiq., III., p. 84.) In 
1660, the property was owned by James 
Clark, and, four years later, Rev. Alex- 
ander Udny, minister of Hawkines, Kent, 
son of William Udny of Udny disponed to 
Robert Clark, son of James Clark of 
Tilliecorthie, twelve oxengates — equal to 
156 acres — of Bonakettill, called Hillbrae. 
(Ibid., p. 83.) Robert Clark married 
Jane, daughter of the said Rev. Alexander 
Udny ; and among their children was 
William Clark of Tilliecorthie, who was 
one of the Commissioners appointed tc 
collect the poll tax in Udny parish in 1696. 
He married Jane Strachan, and the name 
of one son — James — is recorded. (Poll 
Book, II., p. 186.) 

Shortly afterwards the estate was sold 
to the Burnetts of Kirkhill ; and from 
Alexander Burnett of Kirkhill Tillie- 
corthie was acquired by James Clark — 
probably a descendant of the family of the 
same surname who had previously owned 
it. A tombstone in Oldmachar Graveyard 
bears that he was son of James Clark, late 
merchant in Old Aberdeen, and Margaret 
Thomson, his wife ; that he " was long an 
useful and respectable magistrate in his 
native city of Old Aberdeen"; that he 
" was born June 26, 1728, and died a 
bachelor, April 20, 1810," The inscription 
further declares that in business the 




strictest integrity and honour guided his 
conduct ; that in private, piety, friend- 
ship, hospitality, charity, and inoffensive 
manners marked his character ; and that 
besides his estate of Tillieeorthie, which 
lie bequeathed to a nephew, and £2525 
in legacies to relatives and friends, he 
left the following public charities: — "To 
a fund for the annual purchase of coals to 
the poor of Old Aberdeen, Seaton, and 
Spital, £500 ; and to the Lunatic Hospital, 
Infirmary, and Poors House of Aberdeen 
each £100." The nephew referred to who 
succeeded to Tillieeorthie was John Angus, 
who, dying without issue, was succeeded 
by his brother, George Angus, who died 
unmarried in 1861, when the property, in 
virtue of a deed of entail, fell to John 
Ross, eldest son of John Ross of Clark's 
Court, Grenada, and Granton Lodge, 
Aberdeen. He was born on 7th October, 
1821, and, entering the army, attained the 
rank of major in the 71st Bengal Regi- 
ment. He was subsequently, for about 30 
years, Chief Constable of Aberdeenshire. 
He married Flora Anne, daughter of Dr 
Mackinnon, of the family of Mackinnon of 
Skye. Of their large family, Alexander 
Carnegie Ross, C.B., has held several Con- 
sular appointments; he is at present 
British Consul at Buenos Ayres, in the 
Argentine Republic. Major Ross died on 
28th November, 1892. (Tombstone in St 
Nicholas Churchyard.) 

Tillieeorthie is now the property of 
James Duncan, who made money abroad. 


A railed-in space contains five head- 
stones and one tablestone to members of 
the family of Marr. Below are three of 
the inscriptions — 

In memory of John Marr, late of Cairn- 

brogie, who died at Millbank, March 12th, 1849, 
aged 70 years. 

Barbara Smith, his wife, who died January 
27th, 1873, aged 82 years. 

Their sons, James, who died June 19th, 1829, 
aged 3 years ; and Alexander, who died August 
14, 1843, aged 21 years. 


Erected by William Smith Marr, Farmer, 
Uppermill, Tarves, in memory of his wife, 
Helen Bean, who died 20th July, 1852, aged 37 

Also his sons, William Smith, who died 11th 
August, 1860, aged 8 years; and Alexander, 
who died 29th December, 1873, aged 15 years. 

His wife. Elizabeth Monro, who died 15th 
February, 1893, aged 67 years. 

Also the above William Smith Marr. Born 
27th November, 1810. Died 13th February, 


In memory of eight children of George Marr, 
Cairnbrogie, who all died of diphtheria in the 
month of January, 1862: — 

Barbara Smith, aged 10 years. 


9 — 

David Allison — 

7 — 

Helen Ann — 

6 — 

George — 

5 — 

Agnes Mary — 

4 — 

William Smith — 

21 months 

Alexander — 

7 — 

Cairnbrogie is supposed to have derived 
its title from several cairns formerly upon 

The lands, at an early date, formed part 
of the estate of Tarves, and belonged to 
the Abbey of Arbroath. In 1666, they 
belonged to Alexander Davidson, advo- 
cate in Aberdeen, and in the following cen- 
tury were acquired by the Earl of 

About a century ago, the extensive farm 
of Cairnbrogie was leased by John Marr 
(Ins. 1), who was an advanced agriculturist. 
William Smith Marr (Ins. 2) and George 
Marr (Ins. 3) were his sons, besides whom, 
and the two other sons named in the first 



inscription, he had a son John, who leased 
a large farm in Wales ; Anne, who married 
Mr Walker, Tillymaud ; Helen, who 
married Mr Hay, Shevado ; and Barbara, 
who married Mr Walker, Angustown, 

William Smith Marr (Ins. 2) was a noted 
shorthorn breeder, and made the name of 
Upperniill a household word in the agri- 
cultural world. His youngest son, William 
Smith, who succeeded to the farm, and 
who died suddenly on 7th June, 1904, 
maintained and improved the traditions of 
the famous herd. 

George Marr (Ins. 3), of Cairnbrogie and 
Hatton, was a graduate of Aberdeen 
University, and likewise won fame as a 
successful agriculturist. He married 
Isabella, daughter of Rev. Ma - Alison, 
U.P. Church minister, Stuartfield ; and of 
their large family no fewer than eight were 
cut off by diphtheria in the month of 
January, 1862. Mr Marr was succeeded 
in Cairnbrogie and Hatton by his eldest 
son, John, who was a noted breeder of 
Clydesdale horses. 


Blessed are the dead which dye in the Lord. 
S. M. of Helen Mair. spouse to George Miln, 
in Mains of Eslemont, who, after about 19 
years of conjugal affection and motherly care, 
did on the 24th of March, 1768, in the 50th 
year of her age resign her soul to God and left 
her body to rest here in hope of a blessed 
Resurrection. Also the above named George 
Milne, who departed this life the 16th August. 
1794. aged 71 years. 

There are other tombstones to members 
of the family of Milne, who were for a 
lengthened period tenants in Mains of 
Esslemont. A genealogical deduction of 
the family is given in Dr Temple's 
"Thanage of Fermartyn," pp. 518-20. 

A railed-in space has a headstone — 

Erected by Rev. G. Archibald in memory of 
Jane Thomson, his wife, who died at F.<". 

Manse, Udny, on 13th January, 1872, in the 
34th year of her age. Also to the said Rev. 
George Archibald, M.A., senior minister of 
the Free Church, Udny, who died at Aberdeen 
on the 17th November, 1887, in the 70th year 
of his age and the 44th of his ministry. 

Rev. George Archibald for some time 
before his death had the assistance of a 
colleague and successor in the person of 
Rev. George Abel. 

A tablestone has — 

William Pirie, late farmer in Orchardtown. 
died 25th April, 1784, aged 84 years, and 
Elizabeth Laing. his spouse, died 14th June, 
1790, aged 83 years. Also three of then- 
children Helen, William, and George. James 
Pirie, farmer in Mill of Torry, died the 30th 
of May, 1803, aged 67. Also of Elspet Martin, 
spouse to James Pirie, who died the 18th of 
November, 1820, aged 81 years. Likeways 
Helen Diana Pirie, daughter to Patrick Pirie, 
in Orchardtown, who died the 19th April, 1824, 
aged 14. Also of his son William, who died 
the 13th August, 1831, aged 26. And their 
affectionate mother, Elspet Seton, spouse to 
Patrick Pirie, who died November 4, 1832, aged 
65 years. The said Patrick Pirie, who died the 
3rd January, 1848, aged 80 years. Also to 
James Pirie, farmer, Waterton, Ellon, who 
died 30th April, 1878, aged 77 years ; and his 
wife Jane Mitchell, who died 17th March, 
1889, aged 83 years. 

Their bodies lie hero in dust, 
May they rise in glory. 

"William Pirie, farmer, Orchardtown, 
was a son of James Pirie, farmer, Irie- 
wells. He married Elizabeth Laing, and 
their son, Patrick Pirie, married, in 1778, 
Margaret, second daughter of Alexander 
Smith, paper manufacturer, Stoneywood 
It was through the latter marriage that 
their descendants — the Piries of Water- 
ton — allied themselves with the paper 
business, which has grown and flourished 
under their able direction. 

A tablestone and granite cross are in- 
scribed respectively — 

In memory of William Pirie, late fanner in 



Iriewells, who died 13th February, 1814, aged 
69 years. Also of his daughter Margaret, who 
died 5th January, 1800, aged 19. Also of his 
spouse, Helen Mair, who died the 26th Decem- 
ber, 1827, aged 73 years. Likewise of Ann 
Pirie, spouse of the Rev. Nathaniel Grieve, Epis- 
copal clergyman in Kinharrachy, who died 
13th January, 1814, aged 34. Also of George, 
son of the said William Pirie, who died 19th 
May, 1816, aged 41. Also of Isobel Mair, 
spouse of Andrew Pirie, son of the above 
William Pirie, who died 3rd November, 1829, 
aged 39 years. Also their daughter, Helen 
Pirie, who died 21st August, 1831, aged 15 
years. Also of the said Andrew Pirie, who 
died at Iriewells, 8th April. 1863, aged 75 


In memory of Andrew Pirie in Iriewells, 
who died 8th April, 1863, aged 75, and of his 
wife), Charlotte Wilson, died 24th August, 
1870, aged 76. 

By their children. 

Members of this family were for many 
years tenants of Iriewells. Representa- 
tives are now resident in Australia and 
the United States. 

A tablestone beside the west wall is in- 
scribed — 

Here lies in hopes of a blessed Resurrection 
the dust of George Milne, some time farmer 
in the Mill of Esslemont, who departed this 
life the 15th of September, 1799, aged 75 
years. Likewise Helen Ligertwood. his spouse, 
who died the 10th of March, 1787, aged 68 
years. Also John Milne, lawful son to George 
Milne, who died the 10th of December, 1774, 
aged 27 years. And George Milne, their son, 
late in Sauchenbogg, who died 1st June, 1820, 
aged 55 years. 

A headstone is inscribed — 

In memory of James Allan, farmer at Monks- 
hill, parish of Foveran, who died there at an 
advanced age in July, 1832, and was buried in 
the churchyard of Udny. This stone is erected 
by Lauchlan Mackinnon, junior, advocate in 
Aberdeen, and David Reid Mackinnon, surgeon- 
general, in grateful remembrance of much 
kindness received by them from him in their 
youth, when spending their summer holidays 
with him at Monkshill. 1897. 

The erectioii of this headstone in grati- 
tude for kindness received from the 
person commemorated upwards of sixty 
years before, manifests a fine spirit on the 
part of the erectors, who were well known 
in Aberdeen. Lauchlan Mackinnon, jun., 
died in Aberdeen on 11th April, 1899, and 
his younger brother, David Reid Mac- 
kinnon, M.A., M.B., surgeon - general 
(retired), died at Redhill, Surrey, on 5th 
April, 1906, in his 85th year. 

A very old flat stone bears the follow- 
Here lies in hopes of a blessed Resurrection 
the dust of some time 

who died the of aged years. 

This tombstone, in the ancient style of 
inscription lettering, has neither name nor 
date cut on it. The erector's representa- 
tives failed to add the particulars he had 

A tablestone bears an inscription as 
follows — 

Sacred to the memory of Robert Temple, 
farmer in Cloisterseat, died 1778, aged 63; also 
bis spouse. Margaret Simpson, who died 1788, 
aged 47 ; and also their sons, Robert, James, 
George, and William. Elizabeth Temple died 
13th March, 1825, aged 48. Robert Temple in 
Cloisterseat died 17th December, 1861, aged 89. 
Christian, his wife, daughter of Captain Robert 
Allan, R.N., by his wife Christian Dyce of 
Tilliegreig, died 19th February, 1866, aged 79. 
Of their seven sons — William died in infancy, 
1825 ; James died at Port Dover, Upper Canada, 
26th December, 1845, aged 23; John died at 
Dayton, Ohio, U.S., 8th February. 1879, aged 
58 ; Robert died 31et May, 1882, aged 63. 

Also are interred here Robert Temple, before 
1696 in Cloisterseat, his wife Jean Forbes, and 
their son Robert Temple, also in Cloisterseat, 
and his wife, Isobel Milne, the parents and 
grandparents of the first-named Robert 

Also Charles S. Temple, in Cloisterseat, cor. 
mem. S.A. Scot., eldest son of Robert Temple 
and Christian Allan, died 16th June, 1888, aged 
70 years. Also of their seventh son, Rev. Alex. 
Temple, M.A., late incumbent of St Paul's, 



Armadale, who died 10th September, 1890, aged 

Inscribed by their 6ixth and last-surviving son. 
Rev. William Temple. M.A., F.S.A. Soot, of 
St Margaret's, Forgue. 

The foregoing inscription gives a brief 
genealogical deduction of the family of 
Temple, of which was the late Rev. Dr 
William Temple, for many years the 
respected incumbent of S. Margaret's, 
Forgue, and author of " The Thanage of 
Fermartyn," etc. 

A tablestone is inscribed — 

Sacred to the memory of Charles Simpson, 
merchant in Green of Udny, who died 1745, 
aged 47. Also his spouse, Agnes Milne, who 
died 1801, aged 81. Also Charles Temple, who 
died 1813. aged 42. Also Charles Simpson, who 
died 1822, aged 78 years. Agnes Temple, who 
died at Cloisterseat, 20th October, 1884, aged 
30 years. 

A tablestone has the figure of an angel 
at the top, and at the foot representations 
of a skull, coffin, cross bones, and sand 
glass, surrounded by a scroll having a 
Latin inscription, which, translated, reads 
" Death is the gate, of Life." The table- 
stone beans the following inscription — 

Here lyes George Inghram, farmer, late in 
Mills of Keith-hall, who died May 26th, 1758, 
aged 57 years. As also John, Andrew-, and 
William Inghrams, lawful sons procreat, twixt 
him and his spouse, Elspet Simpson. 

This inscription is interesting, not only 
on account of its style of composition, but 
for its old form of spelling the surname 

A tablestone bears the following in- 
scription — 

In memory of Francis Crystal, late tacks- 
man in Hillhead of Tolquhon, for many years. 
Died June, 1825, in the 81st year of his age. 

This stone was erected by his sorrowful 
widow. Elspet Gray. 

The surname Chrystal is an old parish 
one. In 1796, John Chrystall was tenant 
of Tilliecorthie, and, about the same date, 

Alexander Chrystall was in Mains of 

A flat stone is inscribed — 

In memory of John Duguid, farmer in Ard- 
more, who died the 15th September, 1767, aged 
74 years. 

Another stone above the preceding bears 
the inscription — 

In memory of John Duguid, farmer in Ard- 
more, who died the 15th September, 1763, aged 
74 years. Margaret Gray, his first wife, who 
died in the year 1741, and Helen Johnston, his 
second wife, who died in 1779. Also of William 
Duguid, of Granite Place, near Aberdeen, 
youngest son of John Duguid and Helen 
Johnston, who was some time merchant in 
Baltimore, North America, and died at 
Granite Place, the 18th August, 1821, aged 67. 

Various members of the Duguid family 
tenanted Ardmore down to Whitsunday, 
1904, when John Duguid retired. He 
died at Corthymuir on 23rd September, 
1906, aged 69. The tenant in 1696 was 
Francis Duguid, and in 1736 John 
Duguid, who was then tenant, incurred 
considerable notoriety through his "posi- 
tively refusing consent to the marriage " 
of his daughter, Katherine, to James 
Gordon of Logierieve. The minister, 
kirk-session, and Presbytery were each 
appealed to, but the marriage ultimately 
took place. 

A tablestone bears — 

In memory of Samuel Ritchie, lawful son of 
Samuel Ritchie and Elizabeth Shirrifs, in 
Gilmorton, who died 29th May, 1805, aged 18 
years. Also Elizabeth Shirrifs, who died 7th 
June, 1831, aged 86 years, and Samuel Ritchie, 
who died 10th September, 1833, aged 78 years. 
Also his son John Ritchie, at one time farmer, 
Turriff, who died 16th November, 1854, aged 70 
years. Also his wife, Ann Pittendrigh, who 
died 26th November, 1854, aged 73 years. 

The above Samuel Ritchie and his wife, 
Elizabeth Shirrifs, were the grand- 
parents of the lite Professor Samuel 
Trail, D.D., LL.D. 





In memory of James Webster, lawful and 
only son of William Webster, farmer in North 
Mains of Tolquhon. He died the 24th August, 
1799, in tho 28th year of his age. Also of the 
said William Webster, who died the 17th of 
January, 1809, aged 78 years. Likewise of 
Margaret Anderson, his spouse, who died 1st 
February, 1813, aged 86 years. Also of 
Thomas Webster, late farmer in Mill of Dum- 
bred;, who died 14th August, 1814, aged 76 

Here husband, wife, and only son, 
Repose in kindred dust, 

They liv'd in peace and died in hope 
To shine among the just. 

Erected by Margaret Mowat in memory of 
her husband, Alexander M'Leod, merchant, in 
Aberdeen, who died 24th February, 1848, aged 
35. . . . 

A husband kind, a father dear, 
Was he whose dust lies sleeping here ; 
Strong in the faith, he died resign'd, 
And left his weeping friends behind. 

Erected by Walter Parr in memory of his 
daughter Ann, who died 28th March, 1868, aged 
25 years. Also his daughter Elizabeth, wife of 
John Tough, blacksmith, Pitmedden, who died 
4th November, 1868, aged 28 years. Also his 
wife, Elizabeth Bakwell, who died 9th De- 
cember, 1869, aged 60 years. Also the above 
Walter Parr, who died 7th February, 1887, 
aged 80 years. 

Who can tell who next may fall, 

Beneath Thy chastening rod ; 
One must be first, so let us all 

Prepare to meet our God. 
O, what a joyful meeting there, 

In robes of white arrayed, 
Palms in our hands we all shall bear, 

And crowns upon our heads. 

Under Newburgh inscriptions and parti- 
culars are given respecting the old family 
of Udny of Udny, whose principal residence 
— Udny Castle — has an imposing appear- 
ance, and is believed to have been founded 

early in the fourteenth century. Extensive 
and handsome additions were made to it 
some years ago by Mr J. H. F. Udny. 

A tablestone is inscribed — 

In memory of George Bisset, M.A., school- 
master and Rector of the Academy, Udny. who 
died 10th July, 1812, aged 51 years ; also of 
George his son, who died 16th December, 1812. 
aged 9 years, and of Robert, his son, who died 
24th June, 1813, aged 4 years. 

Also of Mary Scott, spouse of the late James 
Adamson, M.A., Strichen, who died 27th July, 
1812, aged 88 years. 

George Bisset, son of John Bisset, Keith- 
hall, was in 1784 appointed schoolmaster of 
the parish of Udny. Two years later he 
added a boarding establishment, which he 
designated the "Udny Academy." He 
married Mary Adamson, Strichen ; and of 
their numerous family, John became a 
doctor in Newburgh, Sussex ; James was 
for a time rector of the Academy, and 
afterwards minister of the parish of Bourtie 
— in 1850 receiving the degree of D.D., 
and in 1862 being chosen Moderator of the 
General Assembly; Thomas, LL.D., vicar 
of Pontefract ; Charles, vicar of Upholland, 
Wigan ; William, colonel, H.E.I.C.S. ; 
Udny, succeeded his brother as rector of 
the Academy ; Margaret, wife of Sir Arthur 
Nicholson, Bart. ; and Isabella, wife of 
Adam Thorn, LL.D., sometime Recorder of 
the Hudson's Bay Company. Under 
Messrs Bisset's fostering care and excel- 
lent tuition, the Academy attained a high 
position. Among many eminent men who 
were educated thereat may be mentioned 
— Dr Robert Adam, author of "The 
Religious World Displayed ' ' ; Joseph 
Robertson, LL.D., the eminent historian: 
Lieut. -General Sir James Out ram, Bart., 
G.C.B. ; William Leslie of Warthill, M.P. ; 
John Milne, LL.D., for long rector of 
Dollar Academy ; Professor Samuel Trail, 
D.D., LL.D. ; and Sir John Forbes of 



Craigievar. Rev. Dr Temple, who also 
was educated at the Academy, gives an 
interesting history of it in his ' ' Thanage 
of Fermartyn" (pp. 435-442). 

It may be added that an engraving of an 
equestrian statue erected in Calcutta to 
the memory of Lieut. -General Sir James 
Outrarn, Bart., was placed in the school 
of Udny by Mr Udny, the proprietor. It 
bears the following inscription — 

His life was given to India. In early man 
hood he reclaimed wild races by winning their 
hearts. Ghanzin, Kelat, the Indian Caucasus 
witnessed the daring deeds of his prime. Persia 
brought to sue for peace, Lucknow relieved. 
defended, and recovered, were fields of his 
later glories. Faithful servant of England, 
large-minded and kindly ruler. A true knight, 
(he Bayard of the East. Educated at Udny 
School, under Bisset. 1814-1818. 


The parish antiquities are neither 
numerous nor of outstanding importance. 
Eirde houses at one time existed, and urns 
and human bones have been unearthed. 

In the parish graveyard is a round house 
of considerable size and great strength, 
which was erected about 1830 with a view 
to defying the operations of the re- 
surrectionists. The coffins lay within, 
upon a turntable, for the necessary period. 
The structure, which was unique of its 
kind, is still standing. 


The origin of the name of this parish is 
doubtful, while its form of spelling has 
undergone various changes, thus — Owyn 
in 1256, Ovyn in 1275, and Oven in 1403. 
(All in Reg. Epis. Aberd.) In Robert- 
son's Index it is given as Unyn and Ouyn, 
and was frequently pronounced Een. 

Walcott, without quoting authorities, 
gives in one place St Colm, and in an- 

other St Adanman as the patron saint, 
but Rev. Alexander Keith, author of the 
" View of the Diocese," in his notes upon 
the parish, makes no mention of the dedi- 
cation of the church. He is careful to 
record, however, that at Pitmedden there 
was in early times a chapel dedicated to 
St Ninian. 

The church, with its lands and perti- 
nents, is said to have been granted to 
Matthew, Bishop of Aberdeen, by King 
Malcolm the Maiden, which grant was 
ratified by the Pope in 1157. In 1256, the 
church was erected into a prebend of the 
Cathedral Church of St Machar at Aber- 
deen. ^Reg. Epis. Aberd.) The minis- 
terial duties at Oyne had doubtless been 
performed by a subordinate, the Preben- 
dary himself having had his time wholly 
taken up with the business of the Chapter. 
Indeed, Orem records that he held the ap- 
pointment of chief notary, and that he 
was dubbed " Rome-raker," through his 
being obliged frequently to travel to 
Rome for instructions and guidance in 
the work of the Chapter. 


The names of several of the old priests 
have been preserved. Of these, Alexander 
Cullan founded an altar in St Nicholas 
Church, Aberdeen. The outstanding per- 
sonality, however, was John Leslie, who, 
in 1559, became Prebendary. He was the 
son of a priest, and belonged to the family 
of Leslie of Cults. After a distinguished 
career at the University of Aberdeen, and 
in the study of law on the Continent, he 
took holy orders in 1558. In the im- 
portant conferences and discussions which 
preceded the Reformation, he played such 
an important part on the Roman Catholic 
side as to bring down upon him the wrath 
of the outspoken Reformer, John Knox, 
who stigmatised him " a priest's giett." 
He was the trusted agent of the Roman 



Catholic Lords, and also a close friend 
and adviser of the unfortunate Queen 
Mary. In 1565, he was elected Bishop of 
Ross, and became likewise a judge of the 
Court of Session. For complicity in the 
Duke of Norfolk's scheme he was seized, 
sent to the Tower of London, and subse- 
quently banished from England. He died 
in a monastery, near Brussels, in 1596. 


The old parish church stood within the 
graveyard, but all that now remain to 
mark its site are four small corner stones. 
The present church was erected in 1807-8 
upon a wooded height a little to the east- 
ward, and nearer the railway. It bears 
no inscription, nor has it any tablets. 

Shortly after Rev. P. S. Bisset was 
elected minister, he, with praiseworthy 
zeal, set about securing new Communion 
plate to take the place of two old plates 
and four cups, which were all of pewter, 
and bore no date or inscription. As a 
result, the church is now provided with 
one silver plate presented by Rev. James 
Smith, B.D., F.S.A. (Scot.), of St 
George's - in - the - West, Aberdeen ; one 
silver plate and two silver cups by Messrs 
Morgan, Aberdeen (all in commemoration 
of the ordination of Mr Bisset to the 
parish of Oyne on 15th April, 1897) ; one 
silver cup by Mrs Webster, Gadie Cot- 
tage; one silver cup by Mrs B. M. Riddel, 
Schoolhouse ; and one silver flagon by the 


In 1570, the incumbent was Rev. John 
Abercrombie, son of Alexander Aber- 
crombie of Pitmedden. He had also 
Premnay in charge, and in 1574 Logie- 
Durno parish was likewise added to his 
jurisdiction. The pastoral duties at each 
were chiefly performed by readers. In 
1583, Rev. George Abercrombie was minis- 

ter of Oyne, but he is not noticed by 
Scott. In 1586, Rev. Walter Richardson 
was translated from Insch, and continued 
minister at Oyne till 1595, when he was 
transferred to Gartly. In the following 
year Rev. Robert Burnett was elected. 
He had previously been acting as a Regent 
at King's College. He married Marjorie 
Auchinleck, widow of Captain John Gor- 
don, son of John Gordon, fourth laird of 
Gight, who was executed for his compli- 
city in the murder of the Bonny Earl of 
Moray at Douibristle on 7th February, 
1591-2. Rev. Robert Burnett was followed 
by Rev. Alexander Burnett, who, in 1647, 
was succeeded by Rev. William Burnett. 
The last-named remained till 1660, when 
he was translated to Insch. In the fol- 
lowing year, Rev. John Strachan, M.A., 
succeeded, and seven years later was fol- 
lowed by Rev. James Strachan, M.A., 
son of Rev. Andrew Strachan, minis- 
ter of Tullynessle, and subsequently of 
Kintore. He married Elizabeth Leith, 
and had a large family. He appears to 
have possessed considerable means, being 
entered in the Poll Book of 1696 as wad- 
setter of Newlands, Ardoyne, and Mill of 
Ardoyne, which then belonged to John 
and William Leith. He had the assist- 
ance as reader of James Leask, parish 
schoolmaster. In 1701, Rev. William 
Mair, M.A., son of Rev. John Mair, minis- 
ter of Tough, was ordained, and con- 
tinued till 1710, when he was translated 
to Kincardine O'Neil. The succeeding 
incumbent was Rev. Arthur Forbes, M.A., 
who died about 1727. 

A tablestone in the parish graveyard 
commemorates the next minister thus — 

Under this stone lies the body of the Rev. 
Mr Alex Turing, who died 24th August, 1782. 
in the 81st year of his age, and 53rd of his 

Rev. Alexander Turing was the eldest 



son of Rev. John Turing, Drumblade, be- 
ing ordained minister of Oyne on 19th 
March, 1729. He married Anne Brown, 
who died 27th January, 1807 ; and, besides 
three sons — luglis, Robert, and Arthur — 
the} 1 had seven daughters — Ann, Forbes 
Ann, Jean, Grizel, Eleonora, Mary, and 
Beatrix. Of the sons, the eldest — luglis 
— became a minister in Jamaica, and died 
there in 1791, while the second son — 
Robert — claimed and enjoyed the title of 
Baronet, to which his father had a heredi- 
tary right through his descent from the 
old family of Turing of Foveran. (See 

The succeeding incumbent was Rev. 
George Morison, M.A., son of James Mori- 
son of Elsick, some time Provost of Aber- 
deen. He was ordained minister of Oyne 
on 7th May, 1783, but in the autumn 
of 1785, was translated to Banchory- 
Devenick. (See Fintray.) 

A tablestone bears the following in- 
scription — 

Inscribed to the memory of the Rev. Alex- 
ander Cushny, minister of the Gospel at Oyne, 
who died 1st February, 1839. in the 80th year of 
his age. and 53rd of his ministry. Eight of 
his children by Ann Gray, his wife, had pre- 
deceased him— two of them abroad and six at 
home, who are here interred, viz. — Thomas and 
Athol, who died in infancy. Mary, who died 
19th January, 1823. in her 21st year. Jane, 
who died 21st November, 1823, in her 19th year. 
Athol, who died 12th July, 1826, in his 19th 
year. John, who died 3rd April. 1835, in his 
33rd year. James Forbes, a lieutenant in the 
East India Company's service, died at Wailah- 
jabad. in Madras, in 1808, in his 20th year. 
Arthur, a merchant in Port of Spain, Trinidad, 
died there in 1811. in his 24th year. Ann Gray, 
above mentioned, eldest daughter of Thomas 
Gray, formerly at Westhall, died at Rayne. 
9th September. 1848, in her 80th year, and was 
here interred in the tomb next adjacent, to 
the north of this stone, which wa9 placed on 
the grave of her husband. They had fourteen 
children — nine sons and five daughters. 

The Lord gave, and the Lord hath takon 
away, blessed be the name of the Lord. 

Rev. Alexander Cushny, M.A., for some 
time prior to his ordination to Oyne, 
was parish schoolmaster of Foveran. 
Of his sous, who are not referred 
to in the foregoing inscription, Alex- 
ander became parish minister of Rayne, 
and received the degree of D.D. ; while 
Robert became minister of Bellie. 

A handsome granite obelisk is inscribed 


To the memory of the Rev. David Simson, 
minister of Oyne for 32 years, 28 of these in tho 
Free Church. Born 13th March, 1801 ; died 8th 
March, 1871. 

A sincere Christian, faithful minister, dutiful 
son, kind brother, and true friend. . . . 


. . . In memory of the Rev. David Simson, 
for 32 years minister of Oyne, 28 of these in 
the Free Church. Died 8th March, 1871. 

A faithful minister, who, in 1843, left all for 
Christ's sake and the Gospel's, suffering per- 

Rev. David Simson was a son of Rev. 
David Simson, minister of the parish of 
Tulliallan, Perthshire, and of his wife, 
Ann Paterson. Along with his elder 
brother, Rev. Henry Simson, minister of 
Chapel of Garioch, he seceded at the Dis- 
ruption, and carried with him an attached 
congregation, who held him in special 

A grey granite wall monument bears the 
following inscription — 

Sacred to the memory of the Rev. Andrew 
Fraser, minister of Oyne, who died 30th 
August. 1874, in the 74th year of his age, and 
the 31st of his ministry. Also of his brother, 
the Rev. Donald Fraser, who died at Inverness, 
31st March, 1885, aged 83 years. 

Rev. Andrew Fraser, M.A., who was 
parish minister from the Disruption till 
his death on 30th August, 1874, was a true 



Highlander, and an excellent scholar. 
Like his predecessor, lie was unmarried. 

Rev. Duncan George Mearns, B.D., son 
of Rev. "William Mearns, D.D., minister 
nt' the parish of Kinneff, and proprietor 
of the estates of Disblair and South Kin- 
inundy, was ordained minister of Oyne on 
9th April, 1874. He is now proprietor 
of these properties. In 1896 he retired 
from the ministry. 

Rev. P. S. Bisset, B.D., the present 
incumbent, was ordained on 15th April, 


The immediate ancestor of this family 
was Mr John Home of Balgownie in the 
parish of Forgue, a burgess of Aberdeen, 
who seems to have been a dependant or 
adherent of the Crichtons of Frendraught. 
His name occurs iu records belonging to 
the first half of the seventeenth century. 
A Mr John Home, notary of the Diocese 
of St Andrews, frequently appears during 
the same period (e.g., in 1605, 7, 8, and 
1628), as servitor to, or acting for, the 
same family ; he is sometimes designed as 
'•' notar at Auchingoul and Monelie"! 
and at least one deed written by him 
as notary was signed at Balgownie. 2 
It would seem at first sight that the 
two designations refer to the same 
individual ; and it is said that the 
Pitfour MS. identifies the notary (whom it 
describes as schoolmaster of Marnoch and 
Forgue) as the ancestor of the Westhall 
family ; but there are circumstances which 
make it difficult to believe that the posses- 
sor of Balgownie and the notary were the 
same man ; the two designations never 
occur together; and no certain conclusion 
has been arrived at on the subject. It is 
to be noted also that Dr Hew Scott states 
that a Mr John Home was minister of 

i Secretary's Register, Aberdeen, VII., 326. s Ibid., 
J V., 392. 

Forgue in 1599 and 1601. Was Mr John, 
like Mrs Malaprop's Cerberus, "three 
gentlemen at once " ? 

Mr John Home, designed " of Bal- 
gownie," first appears in 1606.3 He bad 
two brothers, Andro4 and James. The 
latter was awarded damages along with 
Mr John, by decreet arbitral dated 15th 
and 17th October, 1616, for blood and wrong 
committed against them by ' ' Andrew 
Meldrum of the Muires of Fyvie and 
Robert Creichtouu of Frendraucht." 5 
On 5th June, 1628, complaint was 
made against "Mr John Home of 
Balgonye and James Creichtoun of 
Frendraucht"' for lying in wait for the 
lives of William Gordon of Rothiemay and 
others, armed with hagbuts and pistols, 
the carrying of which was prohibited by 
Act of Parliament. 6 Northern Aber- 
deenshire must have been a lively district 
to reside in at that period! 

Mr John Home of Balgownie seems to 
have married twice. Susanna Weir was his 
spouse on 5th May, 1611,' and 8th June, 
1619,8 but it does not appear that she 
bore him any children. On 12th February, 
1621, he married Agnes Touched who 
seems to have been daughter of John 
Touche, elder, merchant, burgess of 
Aberdeen. On 5th September, 1627, Mr 
John Home purchased from John Touche, 
younger, for 400 merks, a tenement 
in the Gallowgate, Aberdeen, which had 
sometime pertained to the vendor's father, 
John Touche, elder. 10 By Agnes Touche, 
Mr John had three sons, John, his heir,U 
Andro,12 and Mr James,13 and a daughter, 

a Ibid., V., 30. * Ibid. s Register of Deeds, 
(iibson, CCCCXLIX., 22nd March, 1632. ("Register 
Privy Council, 2nd Series, II., 600. ' Reg. of Deeds, 
CCLXVIII., 22nd December, 1617. 8 Reg. Priv. Counc, 
XI., 501. » Reg. Old Machar. i o Reg. of Sasines, Burgh 
of Aberdeen. 1 1 Cien. Retour, No. 2897. * "- Part. Reg. 
Inhibitions, Aberdeen, XLVI., 30th November, 1661. 
i s Ibid., XXXVII., 6th April, 1643 ; XLVI., 30th 
November, 1661. 



baptised 26th December, 1621.14 He 
died before 5th April, 164315; his wife 
survived him, and was alive 19th June, 

Mr James Home, the third son, studied 
at Marischal College, Aberdeen, became 
schoolmaster at Grange, 17 was licensed 
by the Presbytery of Garioch in 1655, and 
soon afterwards called to be minister of the 
parish of Bellie, and ordained at Elgin 
28th February, 1656. Three years later 
he was translated to the second charge 
at Elgin, which he continued to hold till 
1682 ; he then resigned his cure rather 
than take the Test. 18 From that time 
he seems to have lived at Westhall, 
which property he had bought in 1674 
from Mr John Campbell of Moye.19 
In 1683, he acquired the lands and barony 
of Pitmedden, but under reversion 20; the 
reversion was discharged 4th April, 1693, 
by Sir James Abercrombie of Birkenbog,-! 
when Mr James obtained the full 
rights of ownership. About the year 
1682 he matriculated arms as follows: 
— "Argent, a fesse waved and cottised 
azure, betwixt two unicorns' heads couped 
in chief, and a bugle in base gules, gar- 
nished as the first, and stringed of the 
third. Crest, a bugle azure, garnished and 
stringed as the former ; motto, Monitus 
Munitus." 22 He was alive 5th June, 1707.23 
He married Issobella, daughter of John 
Leslie, seventh laird of Pitcaple,24 by 
whom he had a family of two sons 
and two daughters. The second son, 
James, was one of the witnesses to 
the marriage contract of his elder 
sister Issobell, dated 27th November, 1688, 

i * Keg. Old Machar. i = Gen. Ret. i <■■ P. R. Inhib. 
Abdn., XLVL, 30th November, 1661. " Sess. 
Book, Grange. is Scott's Fasti, III., Part I., 

pp. 153, 101. i» Part. Reg. Sasines, Abdn. and Kinc, 
VHI., 434, 20th July, 1674. 2" Ibid., XI., 416, 1st May, 
1683. 2i Ibid., XIV., 320, 28th April, 1693. 2 2 Lyon 
Register. - " Westhall Writs. - * Laurus Leslfeana, 
Cap. CXXI. 

with Robert Douglas of Bridgefoord,25 
whose family were cadets of the Earl of 
Angus 26; they had issue. The second 
daughter, Agnes, was married, also with 
issue, contract dated 16th and 22nd May, 
1700, to John Douglas, Younger of " Tillie- 
quhillie." 27 Issobella Leslie was alive in 

John Horn, the elder son of Mr James, 
appears to have been educated at King's 
College, Aberdeen, and was perhaps a 
candidate for laureation in 1681.29 He 
is invariably designated later, under the 
style of a graduate, as "Mr John." He 
afterwards studied at Leyden.30 He was 
admitted advocate 31st January, 1691.31 
He was allowed by the Lyon King 
of Arms to discontinue the use of 
the arms matriculated by his father. 
and to substitute an entirely different coat. 
The new grant is recorded as follows, under 
date 1st December, 1725 : — " Or, three 
hunting horns gules. Crest, two horns 
conjoined, parti per fess or and sable 
countercharged. Motto, Moneo et Munio. 
N.B. — Second matriculation." 32 He 
added considerably to his estates, and 
obtained a Crown charter erecting the 
lands and barony of Pitmedden, and 
the lands of Ardoyn, Buchanstone, Old 
Rayne including the burgh (a burgh of 
barony), and Westhall, etc., into a free 
barony, to be called the barony of Horn. 
Sasine thereof was registered 17th October, 
1728,33 and thenceforward he was styled 
"Of Horn." On 24th July, 1733, he 
entailed his estates on the issue of his 
then deceased daughter Anne. 34 He died 

2 5 Original among AVesthall Writs. 2 <s Douglas 
Boo!<, by Sir William Fraser. -' P. R. S., 

Aberdeen, etc., XVI., 530, 12th June, 1700. 2«Poll 
Book, I., p. 281. 29 New Spalding Club's "King's 
College Officers and Graduates," p. 211. so Westhall 
Writs. 8 i Books of Sederunt. 3 - Lyon Register. 
3 3 P. R. S., Abdn., etc., XXII., 311. 3*Regr. of 
Tailzies, VIII., 301, 25th July, 1733. 



in the end of May or beginning of June, 

Jn the second volume of Nisbet's 
Heraldry, at p. 73 of the Appendix, it is 
stated that two uncles of John Horn (there 
incorrectly styled "Of that Ilk" and 
Westerhall) suffered severely for their 
loyalty to Charles I., for whose cause they 
are represented to have " raised all they 
could." It is added that one of them 
John Horn, commanded a troop of horse 
at Worcester, and fell in the battle ; while 
the other, Andro, was obliged to fly to 
Sweden, where he was speedily advanced 
through the influence of Count Henry 
Horn, the Swedish general. 

No corroboration of these particulars has 
been found in any contemporary docu- 
ment ; the Andro Home in question 
appears to have been in Aberdeen in 
16-54 36 and 1657.37 

Mr John Horn married, contract dated 
20th and 25th November, 1693, the 
Honourable Agnes Arbuthnott, daughter 
of Robert, second Viscount Arbuthnott.^ 
She is called " Agnes " in the contract, 
but elsewhere ber name is invariably 
given in the alternative form of Anna, 
or Anne. By her, who died in April, 

1742.39 he had an only child, Anne. 
Anne Horn was born in or before 

1696.40 She was married at Prestonpans, 
26th February, 1711,41 doubtless from a 
house which her father possessed there, 42 
to Mr Hew Dalrymple, advocate (after- 
wards a Lord of Session under the 
title of Lord Drummore), third son of 
the Honourable Sir Hew Dalrymple of 
North Berwick, Bart., President of the 
Court of Session, and grandson of James, 

» 5 Edinburgh Evening Courant ; Scots Magazine. 
i«P. H., Inhlb., Abdn., XLVI., 30th November, 1661. 
= 7 Ibid., XLV., 27th June, 1657. »» P. R. S., Abdn., 
etc., XIV., 463. 21st April, 1694. »° Caledonian 
Mercury ; Gentleman's Magaz. * o p ll Book, supra clt. 
■>i Reg. North Berwick. "P, R. S., Edinburgh, etc., 
LVII., 123, 30th July, 1697, 

Viscount Stair, also President. They had 
a large family. Mrs Dalrymple died 13th 
February, 1731 43 ; her husband survived 
her, and dying at Drummore 18th June, 
1755, was buried at North Berwick. 44 

Robert Dalrymple, their third but eldest 
surviving son, was born 1st March, 1718.45 
At the age of thirty he succeeded, 
on the death of his elder brother Hew, 
to the estates entailed by his maternal 
grandfather, and thereupon assumed 
the additional surname of Horn. He 
also succeeded his brother in the estate 
of Foxhall, County Edinburgh. 46 He 
entered the army (first commission 26th 
March, 1737), and attained the rank 
of Lieutenant - General 29th August, 
1777. He served many years in the 
Royal Scots, with which regiment and 
as a staff officer he saw much active 
service. He commanded the let Battalion 
Royal Scots from 1753 until promoted, 9th 
March, 1762. He was appointed Colonel of 
the 120th Foot 3rd August, 1762. After 
the reduction of that regiment, in 1765, 
he remained unattached until 5th Febru- 
ary, 1770, when he was appointed Colonel 
of the 53rd Foot. 47 He held that 
position until his death at Edinburgh 
20th April, 1794.48 He was buried in 
the vault outside the church at Rest- 
alrig 24th April. 49 He married, 9th 
July, 1754,50 Mary, elder daughter of 
the then deceased Sir James Elphin- 
stone of Logie - Elphinstone, 3rd Bart. 
She had succeeded to the family estates 
in January, 1743, as heir to Sir John 
Elphinstone, 4th Bart., her uncle, who 
died unmarried. 61 The bridegroom 
assumed the additional surname of 

4 3 Caled. Merc. * * Reg. North Berwick. * « Reg. 
Edinburgh. * " P. R, S., Edinburgh, etc., CXXXIV., 
115, 80th March, 1748. * 7 Army Lists. * s Annual 
Register. * s Account of Mortcloth Receipts, Restalrig. 
so Reg. Inveresk. si p. r, s., Abdn., etc., XXrv.. 3rd 
May, 1748, 



Elphinstone ; and from this marriage 
descended the family of Dalrymple-Horn- 
Elphinstone of Horn and Logie-EIphin- 
stone. (See Logie Private Cemetery and 
Estate.) His wife predeceased him, dying 
at her town mansion, Balmerinoch House, 
Leith, 3rd March. 1774.52 She was huried 
at Restalrig.53 

Colonel the Hon. Robert Boyle, London, 
generously furnished these particulars. 


An excellent illustration and plan of the 
old Castle of Harthill or Torries, which 
stands on a comparatively level piece of 
ground near the foot of Bennachie, is given 
by Macgibbon and Ross in their "Castel- 
lated and Domestic Architecture of Scot- 
land." The castle is believed to have been 
erected in 1638 by Patrick Leith, a cadet 
of the Leiths of Edingarroch, now known 
as Leith-hall. To increase its stability 
and means of defence against an enemy, 
its walls were made of considerable thick- 
ness, with numerous loopholes, round 
towers, bartisans, etc., while the whole 
buildings had been moated. 

The first Leith of Harthill was Henry 
Leith of Barnes, who, in 1490, was likewise 
proprietor of Lickleyhead, Auchleven, 
Ardoyne, Harlaw, and Drumrossie. He 
gave Harthill to his third son Patrick, 
who married Clara, daughter of John 
Leslie of 'Wardhouse. Their eldest son 
John succeeded, and lived to an advanced 

Genealogical deductions of the family 
appear in Davidson's " Inverurie and the 
Earldom of Garioch," and also in Hay's 
"Castellated Architecture of Aberdeen- 

During the troublous times of the 
seventeenth century, several members of 

3 2 Scots Magazine. 

ss Account of Mortcloth 

the family played an important part in 
assisting Montrose. " Young Harthill," 
the hero of the raid upon Craigievar's 
cavalry at Inverurie, who was particularly 
active, was taken prisoner and executed. 
His brother John proved a turbulent and 
eccentric character. Several of his ex- 
ploits are recorded. On 24th December, 
1639, during divine service, he entered the 
pew of the Lord Provost of Aberdeen in 
St Nicholas Church. He was offered an- 
other seat, but swore that, " by God's 
wounds," he would "sit beside the pro- 
vost, and in no other place o' the kirk." 
After a severe struggle, he was lodged in 
jail, and, on being brought up for exam- 
ination, vowed that he "would fence the 
court in the devil's name." The provost 
he insulted by comparing him to a " doittifc 
cock and ane ass"; while the poor clerk 
had the written indictment plucked from 
his hand and torn. Leith was remanded, 
when his first act was to attempt the burn- 
ing of the jail, after which he made a 
breach in the wall, and, procuring fire- 
arms, attacked the jailers and the town's 
people. To restrain his violence, he was 
put in irons, but these disappearing, he 
was interrogated as to their concealment; 
when he coolly replied that he " had sent 
them to Harthill." Regaining liberty 
after the victory of Montrose, he again 
made his presence disagreeably felt. He 
was a terror to the minister and kirk- 
session— the minister, in January, 1650, 
being compelled to notify the Presbytery 
of "the great wrong and violence offered 
to him by John Leith of Harthill during 
the time of divine service." Even the 
members of Presbytery were unable to 
overawe this extraordinary man, who, in 
September, 1651, :l with cursing and 
sweariug," " compeared and required the 
silver cups mortified by his umquhile sone 
to the churches of Oyne and Rayne" to 
be delivered up. In the following April 

LI 2 


he appeared again before the Presbytery, 
and in " ane most blasphemous and bar- 
barous way. with cursing and impreca- 
tions, did threaten dyvers brethren, and 
did break tlie windows." 

Four other lairds of the surname of 
Leith succeeded in turn to Harthill. The 
last one is said to have quarrelled with 
his relatives and neighbours, set fire to the 
castle, and left the country. 

The estate, with its picturesque ruin, 
was afterwards purchased by the Erskines 
of Pittodrie, regarding whom particulars, 
with tablet inscriptions, are given under 
Chapel of Garioch. 

The author of the " View of the 
Diocese " says that " Oyne has an isle for 
the Leiths of Harthill." All trace of the 
aisle has disappeared, unless it be the 
one now known as Pittodrie's. 


The lands of Tillyfour for a considerable 
period belonged to the Earl of Mar, whose 
valuation in the parish in 1674 amounted 
to £166 13s 4d. 

Early in the following century the estate 
was acquired, through purchase, by George 
Keith, advocate in Aberdeen, who died 
before March, 1745, as his brother, John 
Keith, residing in Inverurie, was then 
served heir. 

Particulars respecting the later pro- 
prietors will be found in the article under 


The hill of Bennachie, which forms 
nearly one-half of the area of the parish, 
was originally one of the seven Royal 
forests in Aberdeenshire. It consists of a 
range of six summits or tops, the largest 
being the "Mither Tap," which reaches 
nearly 1700 feet. Besides being a 
favourite resort for holiday seekers, it 

forms a welcome landmark to the mariner 
at sea, as evidenced by the couplet — 

Clochnaben and Bennachie, 
Are twa landmarks o' the sea. 


The natural beauties of the hills and 
streams of the parish and district have 
been extolled in numerous poems and 

The Gadie, which runs eastward, 
through the northern portion of the 
parish, till it joins the TJry, has had its 
praises sung in more than one Latin poem 
by Dr Arthur Johnston of Caskieben. It 
is also the subject of a beautiful old bal- 
lad, the rendering of which is said to have 
powerfully affected a Scottish regiment 
while serving in India. Several versions 
have been issued, including one by John 
Imlah, aud another by Rev. Dr John 
Park, some time minister of St Andrews. 
The original is believed to have com- 
menced — 

O, an' I were where Gadie rins. 
Where Gadie rins, where Gadie rins, 
O. an' I were where Gadie rins 
At the back o' Benachie. 


The old Synod, Presbytery, and kirk- 
session records throw light upon many 
customs which were formerly observed in 
the parish. As late as 1650, it had been 
customary for farmers to leave portions of 
land uncultivated. These went by the 
title of '' The Goodman's Fold," and were 
expected to propitiate His Satanic Ma- 
jesty ! Dogs were taken to church to such 
an extent that in 1673 a dog clip had to 
be made with which to turn them out. In 
1701, playing upon the bagpipes was strictly 
forbidden in respect of its occasioning 
" that lascivious and unchristian carriage 
which is common at marriage feasts." 



Trifling offences were severely dealt 
with. In 1663 a parishioner was debarred 
from Communion through being " guiltie 
of witchcraft, in causing dogs to follow 
him." Seventeen years later Sabbath 
breakers were carefully warned, and there- 
after beggars were prohibited from being 
'• resseted " under pain of the offender be- 
ing remitted to the Sheriff. 


Two tablestones bear the following, the 
introductory verses being on the end sup- 
ports — 

All mortal here 

Of death must teast, 
And to the grave 
They go to rest. 

Here lies the body of Helen Findlater ; died 
in the year 1784, aged 17 years. This stone is 
put here by her father, William Findlater, and 
if he shall die near to this, he chuses to ly 
under this. 

Here lies William Findlater, who died 1st 
December, 1808, aged 77 years. 

Also George, son of George Findlater, farmer 
in Bogend, who died 2nd February, 1836, aged 
32 years. 

She was 

A good wife, 

And so continued 

All her life. 

Here lies the body of Jean Watt, spouse to 
William Findlater. She died in the year 1798, 
aged 58 years. 

This grave stone is put here, 
In memory of her body dear. 

Here lies the body of Alexander Findlater, 
son of George Findlater, farmer in Bogend, 
who died 26th December. 1835, aged 25. The 
above George Findlater, who died 28th Novem- 
ber. 1852, aged 79 years. And his son William, 
who died 5th December, 1840, aged 32 years. 

The first inscription is interesting on 
account of the erector's recording, with 
characteristic caution, his wishes as to the 

place of his own interment, 
have been acceded to. 

Happily they 

A headstone is — 

Erected in memory of Alexander Reid, mer- 
chant, Edinburgh, fifth son of the late John 
Reid, farmer, Pitmedden, died 1846. aged 67. 
Also of his eldest son, John Reid. silk mercer, 
died 1841, aged 36 ; and his second son, Alex. 
Reid, jeweller, died 1836, aged 28. And his 
daughter, Marion Reid, died 1850, aged 46 

Erected by James, his youngest son. 

A tablestone bears — 

Here lies Mary M'William, spouse to Wm. 
Home, in Bogandie, who died February 6, 
1778, aged 73, and left issue behind her three 
sons and two daughters. 

Time the destroyer of the human race, 
Who cuts down one to give another place, 
Sometimes leads early to the peaceful tomb, 
Sometimes permits ye rising bud to bloom, 
Keep death and judgment always. . . . 

In the Poll Book of 1696, the above 
domicile is called Andies Bogg, the tenant 
then being William Martine, weaver. 

A tablestone is inscribed — 

Anna Skinnar lies under this stone, overcome 
by death that spareth non, take head and 
read and you shall see, as I am now so most 
you be, life is uncertain, death is sure, sin is 
the wound, Christ is the cure. She died March 
6, 1801, aged 25. 

A tablestone bears the following inscrip- 
tion — 

Here lies till the last trumpet sound the body 
of Alexander Hume, wright to Whitehaugh 35 
years, who died 26th December, 1785, aged 75. 
Also his daughter, Barbara Hume, who died 
13th July, 1809, aged 62. Also his son, John 
Hume, wright to Wardhouse 44 years, he died 
27th April, 1818, aged 76. 

The preceding inscription is an addi- 
tional pi oof of how in former times father 
and son repeatedly followed the same 
trade, and remained for a lengthened 
period in the same situation. 



A headstone bears — 

In memory of Margaret M'Hardy, who died 
26th March, 1833, in the 46th year of her age. 
To commemorate departed worth. 

This is erected by her surviving husband, 
John Dawson, by desire of their seven children. 

A headstone bears — 

1860. In memory of Alexander Leslie, late 
farmer in Hatton of Ardoyne, who died 8th 
April, 1824, aged 70. Also of his wife, Janet 
Benzie, who died 20th October, 1857, aged 73; 
and of their daughter, Elspet, who died 8th 
September, 1859, aged 48. Also Susanna Irvine, 
wife of John Leslie, who died 6th February, 
1880, aged 83 years. And John Leslie, who died 
3rd October, 1884, aged 88 years. 

This stone is erected by their son John in 
Little Parkbrae, in remembrance of the Leslies, 
being residenters in this parish for upwards of 
400 years. 

This burial ground extends 20 feet north. 

As is seen in the foregoing inscription, 
members of the Leslie family have been 
resident in the parish for upwards of four 
hundred years. As heritors and tenants, 
they have always taken a leading part in 
the stirring, as well as the peaceful, af- 
fairs of the Garioch. Particulars respect- 
ing them and the Leslies of Chapel of 
Garioch will be found in Leslie's " Family 
of Leslie, etc." In 1682, Leslie, heritor 
of Buchanstone, was ordained by the 
Sheriff to receive 2s 6d per day as a 
witness fee in respect " he is a gentleman 
of quality and must keep servants and 

The surname Benzie is also an old parish 
one. Iu 1703, Robert Benzie, one of the 
elders, was charged before the kirk-session 
with flagrant misconduct at his flitting, 
amounting to "witchcraft and charming." 
The specific charges included the hanging 
of a dog within the house, taking out the 
"crook at ye lumb," and "burying a cat 
under ye hearth," etc. Benzie made a 
spirited defence, but ultimately had to ap- 

pear before the congregation and profess 
sorrow for the scandal. 

The following headstone inscription re- 
cords the death of a centenarian — 

Erected by George Dawson, road surveyor, in 
memory of his great-grandfather, William 
Dawson, who died 12th July, 1851, aged 101 
years, and is interred in the churchyard of 
Premnay. Also of his grandfather, George 
Dawson, wood manufacturer, Tillyfour, who 
died 7th February, 1873, aged 87 years. 

Two tablestones, near the entrance gate, 
bear the following inscriptions — 

Here lie the remains of Barbara Reid, spouse 
to John Mackie, farmer in Mill of Johnston, 
who departed this life the 21st of November, 
1796, aged 23 years. She was thus out off in 
the bloom of her youth, but tho' young in years 
6he was old in virtue. She was a dutiful child, 
faithful wife, and an affectionate mother ; lovely 
and pleasant was she in life ; resigned in death ; 
and with Christian fortitude and serenity of 
mind 6he left this earth most sincerely re- 
greted by her affectionate husband. . . . 

Here lies the body of Anne Morgan, spouse 
to George Mackie, in Miln of Auchmar, vho 
died the 19th of December, 1787, aged 49 years. 

Here now she rests, 

In undisturbed dust, 

Untill the resurrection of the just. 

The Mackies in Mill of Johnston, Mill 
of Auchmar, and Mill of Craigton, were of 
the same line. The last-named mill was 
demolished through the construction of the 
Great North of Scotland Railway between 
Kennethmont and Gartly, and Alexander 
Mackie, its last tenant, died at Rothney 
Village, Insch, about twenty-eight years 

A headstone, near the entrance gate, 
bears — 

In memory of Captain Alexander Imlach, 
late St Helena Regiment, who died at Oyne, 
25th August. 1868, a.ged 75 years. And his wife. 



Margaret Cruickshank, who died 30th March, 
1871, aged 73. 

Four headstones record the deaths of 
persons bearing the surname of Home, 
thus: — John Home, farmer in Little West- 
hall, died 21st July, 1837, aged 61. Sarah 
Ross, his spouse, died at Fielding, 9th 
December, 1875, aged 80. James Home, 
died at Fielding, 2nd March, 1899, in his 
74th year ; and his two children, Hellen 
and Sarah, died in infancy. Alex. Home, 
for many years postmaster and farmer, 
Headhouse, Old Rain, died 6th April, 1840, 
aged 55. His wife, Ann Emslie, died 4th 
October, 1855, aged 60. Their eldest son, 
Walter Davidson Home, farmer and miller, 
Old Rain, died 29th May, 1857, aged 31. 
Their second son, Alexander Home, mer- 
chant, Old Rain, died 30th March, 1855, 
aged 27. Margaret Home, wife of William 
Cruickshank, Mill of Old Rain, died 8th 
September, 1828, aged 56 ; and James 
Home, farmer, Barreldykes, Rayne, died 
3rd April, 1839, aged 52. 

A tablestone and headstone are inscribed 
respectively — 

Here was laid in hope of a blessed Resur- 
rection, the body of Helen Jean Cruickshank. 
spouse to William Farrel, in Middletoune of 
Blackfoord, who departed this life March the 
14th, 1770, aged 59 years. This stone is erected 
by the said William Farrel in memory of his 
affectionate and loveing spouse. . . . 

In memory of John Duncan, late in Pulwhite, 
who died February, 1794, in the 49th year of 
his age. Also his spouse, Isobel Smith, who 
died 8th September, 1826, in the 76th year of 
her age. 

Erected by their sons, James and John 

A massive monument of the four-sided 
obelisk design is inscribed — 

In loving remembrance of Margaret Brown, 
wife of Huntly Christie, who died at Ovno 

Village, 24th February, 1900, aged 78 years. 
Also of their children. Elizabeth, who died at 
Rettie, 17th January, 1865, aged 8 years. 
Alexander, who died 5th March, 1865, aged 2 
yea-rs. George, who died at Winnipeg, Mani- 
toba, 10th March, 1899. aged 49 years. 

Rettie, or Raitie's plough, in 1696 had a 
valued rent of £89, and belonged to Rev. 
Patrick Copland, minister of Cushnie. 
(Poll Book.) 

A stone is — 

This stone marks the grave of Jane Dawson, 
wife of Lewis Mathieson, farmer, South 
Ardoyne, who died 20th April, 1866, aged 72 
years. This stone is placed for to show forth 
love's tribute to parental worth — these pro- 
perties in one combined the wife, the mother, 
and the friend. 

The grave on the north side of this stone con- 
tains the body of the above Lewis Mathieson, 
who died 9th February, 1875, aged 82 years. 

A tablestone bears — 

Here was laid in hope of a blessed Resur- 
rection the body of Robert Alexander, some 
time in Daies, who died May the 18th, 1750, 
aged 59 years. Also his two eldest lawful sons 
William and George Alexanders. This stone is 
erected to their memory by his two lawful sons, 
Robert and Alexander Alexanders. Also Alex. 
Alexander, dyer in Waulkmill, Auchindoir, son 
of Robert, who died 21st April, 1855, in the 
90th year of his age. . . . 

Time flyeth, 

Death pursueth 

Mind eternity comes, 

After mortality. 

A marble slab fixed into a headstone at 
the same grave records the death of 
William Alexander, late dyer in Aberdeen, 
son of the above Alexander Alexander and 
Margaret Milne, his spouse, who died 31st 
October, 1811 — the inscription adding that 
he was a dutiful son, an affectionate friend, 
and an active and useful promoter of the 
knowledge and practice of the religion of 

A very old undated tablestone lies 
against the west wall, having at the top 

h 2 



representations of a skull, eross-bones, bell, 
coffin, and sand-glass, surmounted by the 
legend, ''Memento Mori." It bears the 
following inscription in large letters — 

Here lyes Jean Booth, spouse to John Robert. 

A railed-in obelisk bears the undemoted 
Erected by Rev. Andrew Galloway in memory 
of his son, Andrew, born 30th January, 1874, 
died 1st September, 1874. His daughter, Norah, 
born 4th September, 1886, died 8th December, 

" Within the morn, those angel faces smile." 

Rev. Andrew Galloway, son of Andrew 
Galloway, farmer and tenant of the flour, 
meal, and yarn mills of Cult-Mill, parish of 
Cults, Fifeshire, was ordained minister of 
the Free Church, Oyne, on 22nd June, 
1871. He still actively discharges his 
ministerial duties. 

A tablestone bears — 

James Mackie, in Parkbrae, in testimony of 
grief and affection for a youth of pious and 
virtuous dispositions, erected this stone to the 
memory of his son James, who died December 
3rd, 1793, in the 24th year of his age. 

A granite headstone bears — 

In memory of James Horn, for many years a 
residenter in Old Westhall, in this parish, who 
died 31st October, 1842, aged 72 years. And of 
his spouse Jane Gillanders, who died 28th 
December, 1868, aged 92 years. Also of their 
children, Robert, who died in December, 1825, 
aged 26 years ; John, who died in March, 1828, 
aged 24 years; Alexander, who died in March, 
1851, aged 44 years ; William, who died in 
January, 1862, aged 41 years. 

A son of the above-mentioned couple — 
James Horn — was a successful merchant 
and shipowner in Aberdeen. He purchased 
the estate of Pitmedden, and died on 13th 
February, 1874, aged 73 years, being pre- 
deceased by his wife, NicoLas Smith, 26th 
October, 1871. Of their children, Nicolas 
and James died in infancy, while William 

Smith died 25th November, 1861, aged 24| 

The earlier history of Pitmedden is 
largely incorporated in that of Westhall, 
of which it, for a lengthened period, formed 
a part. In 1512, the lands, with others, 
were erected into the free barony of Pit- 
medden for George Abercrombie. Various 
misfortunes, however, overtook the family. 
Alexander Abercrombie of Ley was killed, 
it was believed, by witchcraft. Alexander 
Abercrombie of Pitmedden was shot dead 
by the Gordons in 1583. Four years later, 
his son was accused of bigamy, and in the 
spring of 1588 he had his "place of Pit- 
medden, with the effects therein," treason- 
ably burned by William Leslie in Little 
Warthill and his accomplices. 

A large railed-in space contains a number 
of tombstones to members of the families 
of Smith and Collie, who were connected 
through marriage. The following in- 
scriptions are taken from them : — 

Here lies the dust of William Smith at Mill 
of Ardeen, he died April 15, 1774, aged 74. Also 
his children, viz., William, he died December 2, 
1754, aged 21 ; Patrick, he died January 7, 1767, 
aged 22 ; Christian died December 24, 1762, aged 
24. As ako Hugh, Ann, Adam, and Elizabeth 
Smiths, who died in their nonage. 

In memory of Alexander Smith, late feuar in 
Inscb, who died February 15, 1807. in the 70th 
year of his age. Here also are interred four of 
his children, who died in infancy. Also his 
spouse, Elizabeth Rough, who died 3rd of 
August, 1852, aged 90 years. 

Underneath lies the body of George Smith. 
30 years millwright at Mill of Rothney, a man 
whose knowledge very far exceeded his station. 
His integrity would have done honour to any 
station, and his religion was truely Christian, 
rational, sincere, and unaffected. He died 
September, 1812, aged 70. And close on his 
hand is interred the body of William, his only 



son, a hopeful youth, who died in 1805, in his 
16th year, while a student at college. 

The burial place of Wm. Smith, distiller. 
Jericho, who was born at Mill of Ardoyne. 
January 4, 1793, and died 22nd February, 1873. 

In memory of John Collie, late farmer in 
Priestwells, Insch, who died 20th July, 1837, 
aged 66 years. Jane Smith, his spouse, who 
died 15th January. 1851, aged 63 years. And 
also Alexander Collie, their son, who died 13th 
January, 1848, aged 36 years. 

For particulars regarding the ancestors 
of the Smiths see Fyvie and Tullyuessle. 


The most interesting parish antiquities 
are the three sculptured stones which 
formerly lay horizontally and close to each 
other on the moor of Garden, but which, 
on the moor being planted about 1811, were 
built into its enclosing wall. At a later 
date they were removed to Logie-Elphin- 
6tone, and built into the garden wall. In 
size they do not exceed four feet six inches 
in height, nor two feet six inches in width, 
and they bear various emblems, including 
the elephant, crescent, rod, double disc, 
etc. On one is an Ogham inscription, the 
translation of which is given in the Proc. 
Soc. Antiq. Scot., Vol. XVIII., p. 189, 
while the stones aie fully described and 
illustrated in " Early Christian Monuments 
of Scotland," and also in the Spalding 
Club's "Sculptured Stones of Scotland." 

It is regrettable that a fourth sculptured 
stone was split and completely destroyed 
through one of the parish millers foolishly 
using it as a hearthstone for his kiln. 

Traces of a camp are marked in the 
Ordnance Survey Map a6 existing on the 
summit of Bennachie. 


The derivation of the name of this 
parish is uncertain. It has undergone 
numerous variations, including Obyne in 
1249, Obeyn in 1275, Oubyn in 1292, 
Oboyne in 1501, and Aboyn in 1567. 
Several writers, including the author of 
the chapter upon the parish in the New 
Statistical Account, affirm that the name 
is a compound of the Gaelic words, Abh, a 
ford, and boinne or buinne, a current of 
rippling water, from a ford in the Dee 
south of the church. 

The church was dedicated to the great 
saint and author, Adamnan, whose feast 
was observed on 23rd September. Accord- 
ing to Bishop Forbes, the saint is known 
by various other names, including 
Theunan and Skeujan. The latter was 
probably used at Aboyne, as it was per- 
petuated in the Skeulan Tree and the 
Skeulan Well. Both stood about half- 
way between Aboyne Castle and the old 
church, and were held in veneration for 
many a day. 

The church was bestowed between 1221 
aud 1240 by Walter Bisset, proprietor of 
the lands and castle of Aboyne, upon the 
preceptory of the Knights Templars at 
Culter (Culter originally included the old 
parishes of Peterculter and Maryculter, 
but the latter, although an offshoot from 
the former, had the preceptory erected 
within its borders, in which, down till 
1548, an elevating influence was exercised), 
which he had newly founded there. The 
giant was approved by the Bishop of Aber- 
deen, and the order being superseded by 
the Knights Hospitallers, or Knights of St 
John of Jerusalem., whose Scottish head- 
quarters were at Torphichen, the church 
of Aboyne remained with them till after 
the Reformation. 



The parish of Glentanner having been 
suppressed, the greater portion of its lands 
was annexed to Aboyne, a small part being 
added to the united parishes of Glen- 
nmick, Tullich, and Glengairn. 

The old parish church of Aboyne stood 
within the graveyard at Kirktown. It was 
" but a little edifice, and thatched with 
heather,'' but it is now in ruins, the 
foundation alone being traceable. The 
belfry and bell were carried to the Mains 
of Aboyne and there fixed on the top of 
the tower. The bell has an inscription, 
partly in Latin. In English it reads — 


The roofless walls of the old manse are 
still standing on the north side of the 
graveyard, but the surroundings are some- 
what depressing. 

In 1761, a new church, intended to accom- 
modate the united parish, was erected at 
Charlestown, fully a mile west of Kirk- 
town. Divine service thereupon ceased to 
be held in Glentanner Church, which previ- 
ously had been given in the rotation of two 
Sabbaths at Aboyne and one at Glentanner. 

On the north wall of the new church 
were inscribed the initials C. G., E. A. ; 
M. S., C. A., representing Charles Gordon, 
fourth Earl of Aboyne, and his first wife, 
Lady Margaret Stewart, third daughter of 
Alexander, sixth Earl of Galloway, who 
died at Aboyne on 12th August, 1762. 
Underneath were the Gordon arms, the 
motto " St ant caetera tigno," and the 
date 1761. This church was replaced by 
the present one in 1812. 


The parish, in 1567, had as reader James 
Cusnye (Cushnie), whose salary was 20 lib. 
Robert Boyd succeeded in 1576. Twelve 
years later, Rev. Robert Zoungson (Young- 
son) was admitted. He had for the two 

previous years acted as minister of Forbes. 
Along with Aboyne, he had Tullich in 
charge, but he remained for less than five 
years, accepting translation to the parish 
of Towie before 1594. The succeeding 
incumbent was Rev. Alexander Zoungson, 
afterwards minister of Skene. 

Before the autumn of 1633, Rev. William 
Douglas was admitted, but was deposed in 
1644. Four years later, he was reponed 
by the General Assembly, and in the fol- 
lowing year he petitioned Parliament for 
redress, as, having advanced a thousand 
merks, besides certain annual rents for the 
public service, he was reduced to such 
poverty that he was unable to maintain 
and educate his family. The claim was 
directed to be paid, but it is doubtful if a 
full settlement had been made, as on 21st 
June, 1661, Parliament ordered £100 
sterling to be paid to Mr Douglas ' ' on 
account of his great sufferings and 
loyalty." A son William became parish 
minister of Midmar, while a daughter 
became the second wife of William Forbes 
of Pitallachie. It may be added that Rev. 
William Douglas, who was laird of Black- 
mill in 1643, was a grandson of Sir 
Archibald Douglas of Glenbervie and of 
his wife Mary, daughter of Sir Alexander 
Irvine of Drum. He was an ancestor of 
Francis Douglas, the topographer, who 
was bred a baker in Aberdeen. 

The succeeding minister is commemorated 
by a cracked tablestone lying in the area of 
the old church, which displays various 
emblems, including a skull, hour-glass, and 
cross-bones, together with the initials, 
M. T. R. — M. F. These letters stand for 
" Mr Thomas Ross," and his wife, " Mar- 
garet Farquhar." No date is shown, but 
it is known that Mr Ross was admitted 
as minister of the parish before November, 
1651, and that he died prior to May, 1684 

Rev. Ludoviek Gordon, M.A., was 
ordained before November, 1679. He 



married a daughter of Thomas Burnett 
of Sauchen, aud they had a son, Thomas, 
who became miuister of the parish of 
Lonmay. Mr Gordon died in October, 1694. 

A long vacancy followed, it being 21st 
March, 1700, before a successor was or- 
dained in the person of Rev. James 
Douglas, who was called by the Presbytery. 
He was translated to Arbuthnott on 29th 
December, 1714. 

In March, 1716, Rev. George Shepherd, 
M.A., was ordained, and continued till his 
death, which occurred on 16th December, 

The succeeding incumbent, who was pro- 
prietor of the estate of Harthill, in the 
parish of Keig, has a plain stone slab to 
his memory fixed in the inner wall of the 
old church there. It is inscribed as 
follows — 

The remains of the Rev. Willm. Forsyth, late 
minr. of the Gospel at Aboyne, proprietor of 
Harthill in Keig, who died Augt. 25th, aged 
87, and of Margt. Turner, his spouse, who died 
Deer. 15th, aged 60 yeres, interred in the church 
of Keig, 1793. 

Rev. William Forsyth, prior to his 
ministry at Aboyne, officiated as mission- 
ary at Glenmuick. His wife, Margaret 
Turner, was a daughter of John Turner 
of Turuerhall. They had a son, Lieuten- 
ant Henry George, who succeeded to 
Harthill, and married a daughter of 
Colonel Robert Garden, and of his wife, 
Elizabeth Moir. 

In 1784, Rev. Thomas Gordon, M.A., 
son of the proprietor of Crathienaird, pre- 
viously ordained missionary at Crathie, 
and subsequently at Glenmuick, was in- 
ducted as assistant and successor. He 
married Elizabeth Michie, and, of their 
family, John emigrated to Jamaica, while 
George became laird of Bucksburn, and 
married Rachel Young of Sheddocksley. 
Mr Gordon died on 13th January, 1826, 
in his 83rd year. 

The next incumbent was Rev. Robert 
Milne, M.A., a native of the parish. He 
was at first a teacher in the Academy at 
Fortrose, but, receiving licence as a 
preacher, was ordained, in January, 1810, 
as deputy-chaplain at Fort-George. He 
was inducted to Aboyne 27th September, 
1826. In 1836 he assumed the patronymic 
of Miller, and died at his estate of Kin- 
churdy on 7th May, 1853, aged 73. He 
had married, in 1823, Jane Gordon, 
daughter of Colin Matheson, of Bennets- 
field, and their family consisted of at least 
two sons, John and Colin. 

In the year of Mr Milne's induction a 
supply of new communion tokens was pro- 
vided. On the one side they bear the 
coronet of an earl, with the word 
" Aboyne " underneath, while on the re- 
verse side are inscribed the minister's 
name, "Robert Milne," and the date, 
" 1826." 

A cross in a railed-in grave in the new 
churchyard commemorates the succeeding 
minister, thus — 

In memory of the Rev. James Jenkins, 
minister of Aboyne and Glentanner, who died 
on 3rd December, 1870, aged 67. And of his 
wife, Margaret Shanks, who died 15th October, 
1891. aged 76. Also of their son Walter, who 
died 20th May, 1872, aged 19. Also of his 
daughters, Margaret and Anna- Jane, aged 34 
and 41 years. 

Rev. James Jenkins, M.A., was son of 
John Jenkins, farmer, Urquhart, and 
prior to his ordination to Aboyne, in 1848, 
was, for about 21 years, Master of Elgin 
Academy, as also Session Clerk and Re- 
gistrar. He married Margaret, daughter 
of John Shanks, baker, Elgin. Of a 
family of ten, three survive, viz. : — John, 
the eldest son, who has been over half a 
century in Australia as an architect and 
surveyor ; William Gordon, merchant, near 
Melbourne ; and George Gordon, of Jenkins 
and Marr, civil engineers, Aberdeen. The 



second son, James Anderson, who was a 
land surveyor of much promise, was acci- 
dentally killed by the falling of a tree 
while assisting in the Australian Geodetic 
Survey ; Robert, who was a ship's captain, 
died at Sunderland in 1892; Anna died in 
infancy ; and Helen died in Aberdeen on 
30th January, 1907, aged 66. 

Rev. James M'Kenzie, M.A., who was 
ordained in 1861, was the next incumbent, 
and for many years clerk to the Presby- 
tery of Kincardine O'Neil. Owing to 
failing health he retired from the charge 
in 1902, and has taken up his residence at 
West Cults. He received the degree of 
D.D. from the University of Aberdeen in 
1895. His son, Charles Gordon, is now 
minister of the parish of Methlick. 

The present minister is Rev. James 
Duncan Mackenzie, who was ordained on 
17th December, 1902. 


The parish has been fortunate in having 
had many eminent schoolmasters, among 
whom may be named Alexander Ross (he 
was the son of Andrew Ross, Stran- 
duff, studied at Marischal College, 
married, in 1726, Jane, daughter of 
Charles Catanach, farmer, Logie-Cold- 
stone, and died in May, 1784, aged 85), 
author of numerous poems, including 
' ' Helenore, or The Fortunate Shepherd- 
ess," and upon whose tombstone, at Loch- 
lee, erected by public subscription, is the 
following complimentary estimate of his 
poetic talents and productions — 

" How finely nature aye he paintit, 
O' sense in rhyme he ne'er was stintit, 
An' to the heart he always sent it, 

Wi' might an' main ; 
An' no ae line he e'er inventit, 
Need ane often' I" 

Dr Jamieson, in compiling his Scottish 
Dictionary, drew more from Ross, in illus- 

tration of the Scottish vernacular, than 
from any other authority. 

Rev. Joseph Smith, M.A., who was 
ordained minister of the parish of Birse 
on 2nd September, 1789, was for some 
time previously schoolmaster here. It is 
alleged that he received the intimation of 
his ministerial appointment while busy in 
school, and that this drew from him the 
exclamation, ' ' Hurrah ! Minister o' Birse 
wi' nine years' fordle!" This alluded to 
the stock of sermons which he had 
accumulated during the 13 years he had 
been a licensed preacher as well as a 

Other teachers were Andrew Thomson, 
M.A., Charles Begg, M.A., John Neil, and 
George M 'Irvine, M.A., the last of whom 
was Murray lecturer in 1855, and after- 
wards civil chaplain in Mauritius. 

The veteran schoolmaster, however, is 
thus commemorated on a granite obelisk 
in the new churchyard- 
Sacred to the memory of the Rev. Andrew 
Gray, M.A. Born 19th February, 1836; died 
20th January, 1900, aged 64 years. For 44 
years headmaster of the Public School, 

Father, in Thy gracious keeping, 
Leave we now Thy servant sleeping. 


The lands of Aboyne were for a time in 
the possession of the Scoto-Norman family 
of de By set or Bisset, the first of whom 
came from England under the auspices of 
King William the Lion. They quickly 
became both powerful and affluent, as 
evidenced by their acquiring the baronies 
of Lovat, Stratherrick, Abertarff, and 
Aboyne, besides several large estates on 
the Border. One built and endowed an 
hospital in the Merse, another founded a 
monastery, at Beaufort, near Beauly, 
while others of the clan erected chapels 
in various parts of Scotland. 



Before 1230, Aboyne was in the posses- 
sion of Walter Bisset, who seems to have 
been brave as well as accomplished, and 
whose acts of liberality on Deeside have 
already been noticed. In a tournament in 
which he took part, at Haddington in 1242, 
h? had the misfortune to be unhorsed by 
Patrick of Galloway, the young Earl of 
Athole. On the following night, some of 
Bisset's attendants, in wrath at their 
chief's defeat, fired the building in Had- 
dington in which Athole slept, and he was 
burnt to death. This diabolical outrage 
caused much indignation, and Bisset and 
his relatives were set down as its instiga- 
tors. They had difficulty in escaping with 
their lives, and several of their possessions, 
including Aboyne, were forfeited. Against 
Bisset himself the utmost hostility was 
manifested throughout Scotland, and it 
continued unabated till his death, in 
Arran in 1251. 

Within six years, the King, who had 
throughout shown considerable friendli- 
ness to the family, recalled the forfeiture 
of Aboyne in favour of Thomas Bisset, 
who is believed to have been nephew and 
heir to Walter Bisset. This and other 
acts of clemency went for little, however, 
for, as pointed out by Mr William Watt, 
the historian of " Aberdeen and Banff," 
the Bissets did not recover their former 
importance, while most of their northern 
properties passed by the marriage of heir- 
esses into ether families. They are repre- 
sented to the present time, however, by 
the Bissets of Lessendrum (the male line 
has been broken more than once), who 
have been in possession of that estate and 
barony since before the wars of Scottish 
Independence, and are one of the oldest 
families in Scotland 


The Bissets probably erected the original 
Castle of Aboyne, which was more of a 

substantial than an ornamental design. 
During the forfeiture already mentioned, 
and for half a century thereafter, it was a 
Royal residence. Alexander III. fre- 
quently occupied it, and several of his 
charters were signed there. From 
" Obeyn " on 1st April, 1285, he despatched 
a letter to King Edward of England wish- 
ing him all kinds of increase of glory and 
honour, expressing gladness at hearing the 
satisfactory state of his affairs, and offer- 
ing special thanks for the business assist- 
ance promised to the subscriber's dear 
kinsman, Ingeram de Ginis. Immedi- 
ately afterwards Alexander was killed 
near Kinghorn, and Edward, with a view 
to making Scotland completely subservient 
to England, became Lord Dictator as to who 
should succeed. To strengthen his hands 
and further his selfish and dishonour- 
able ends, he secured possession of a large 
number of Scottish castles, including that 
of Aboyne. These he was careful to gar- 
rison with English troops. In 1292, he di- 
rected " Obeyn " Castle, with others to be 
delivered up to his puppet, John Baliol, 
and on that weakling ultimately revolting, 
he (Edward) invaded Scotland at the head 
of a large army. Lord Huntly believes 
that he then spent a night at Aboyne 
Castle, as a large number of deeds and 
charters were carried off and destroyed. 
It is significant in view of the tragic death 
of the young Earl of Athole, as already ex- 
plained, that in 1305 John, Earl of 
Athole, who had sworn fealty to Edward, 
should be engaged repairing for that King 
the Castle of Aboyne, which had belonged 
to the enemy of his family. The ultimate 
success of Robert the Bruce led to the 
clearing out of the English, the punish- 
ment of traitors, and the probable de- 
molition of the castle buildings, with the 
exception of the Peel. 




From the Bissets, Aboyne passed to 
Reginald More and his spouse Isobel. In 
1837, it was in the possession of Sir 
Alexander Fraser, who was succeeded by 
hi5 grand-daughter and heiress, Margaret 
Fraser, who, before 1351, married Sir 
William Keith, Marischal of Scotland. By 
this union Sir William acquired, as the 
portion of his wife, the lands of Aboyne, 
Cowie, Durris, Strachan, Glentanner, etc. 
It is interesting to record that, in 1393, 
Sir William recognised by deed the bishop's 
right to the tenth penny of his rents of 
Aboyne as second tithes, while, by another 
document of the same date, he is exempted 
from payment on account of services 
rendered by him to the Church of Aber- 
deen. (Dalyell's Remarks, p. 28.) 

Sir William Keith and his lady held 
Aboyne till 1407, when they made a grant 
of its lands to their grandson, John 
Stewart, Earl of Buchan, Chamberlain of 
Scotland, son of the Regent Albany, and 
their daughter, Muriella Keith. Buchan, 
who is known as Earl of Ross and Lord of 
Aboyne, continued as proprietor of Aboyne 
till his death, when it passed to Elizabeth 
Keith (daughter of Margaret Fraser before- 
mentioned), widow of Sir Adam Gordon of 
Gordon, who fell at Homildon Hill in 1402. 
In 1437, her daughter and heiress, Eliza- 
beth Gordon, who had married Sir Alex- 
ander Seton of Seton, descended from a 
sister of Robert I., became proprietrix. 
Their elder son, Alexander Seton, who 
assumed his mother's surname of Gordon, 
was, about 1445, created Earl of Huntly. 

(For further particulars, see the various 
Peerage volumes, Gordon's " History of 
the Family of Gordon," the New Spalding 
Club's "The Records of Aboyne," Seton's 
"Family of Seton," and Anderson's 
■ Scottish Nation.") 

It is probably to Charles Gordon, fourth 
son of George, second Marquis of Huntly, 

that Aboyne as a parish is chiefly indebted. 
During the Civil Wars he adhered to the 
Royal cause ; and, in consideration thereof, 
and of the special services rendered by his 
predecessors, he was, by patent dated 10th 
September, 1660, created Earl of Aboyne, 
Lord Strathaven and Glenlivet. On ac- 
quiring the lands, he found them nearly 
valueless through the tenantry being in 
an almost destitute condition by the 
ravages of war. An idea of their losses 
and privations may be formed from the 
statement of Spalding that, in the autumn 
of 1644, Argyle's soldiers cut down the 
garden planting to be huts, destroyed the 
corn, and left not one four-footed animal in 
Aboyne or adjacent estates. The Earl, with 
praiseworthy zeal, set himself to improve 
matters, however, and it is satisfactory to 
record that his efforts were crowned by 
success. In 1669, he secured Parlia- 
mentary powers for holding at Aboyne a 
weekly market, and an annual public fair 
of three days' duration. (Acts of Parlia- 
ment.) Two years later, he rebuilt the 
north-western portion of the castle. In- 
scribed upon it are the initials C. G., E. A., 
and E. L., C. A., representing Charles 
Gordon, Earl of Aboyne, and his second 
wife, Elizabeth Lyon, Countess of Aboyne. 
This lady was the only daughter of John, 
second Earl of Kinghorn. There is no 
tablet or memorial to the Earl's first wife, 
Margaret Irvine of Drum, better known in 
ballad lore as ' ' Bonnie Peggie Irvine. ' ' 
On the lintel of the old entrance doorway 
in the central north tower is carved the 
date 1671, and the sacred monogram 
I. H. S. The castle has since undergone 
numerous alterations and improvements, 
but it still retains its ancient grandeur, 
and is one of the finest family seats on 

Another improving landlord was Charles, 
the fourth Earl, who succeeded about 1732. 
Besides giving every possible encourage- 



uieut to the tenantry, he formed largo 
plantations and built no less than forty 
miles of stone fences, upwards of five feet 
in height, for the purpose of enclosing and 
subdividing the extensive lands. 

Within the last twenty years, the exten- 
sive estate has been broken up, and con- 
siderable portions disposed of. In 1888, 
the part known as the Aboyne Castle estate 
was sold to the late Sir William Cunliffe 
Brooks, Bart., father-in-law of the present 
Marquis of Huntly. Two years later, Glen- 
tanner was sold to Sir William ; and about 
the same time the land on the south side 
of the public road leading from Aboyne to 
Dess was disposed of to the late Alexander 
Davidson of Desswood (now known as Dess), 
advocate, Aberdeen. 


This graveyard — in which formerly stood 
the old parish church— is situated near the 
east end of the Loch of Aboyne, and at a 
short distance from the public road. It is 
of medium size, but contains few tomb- 
stones. A portion of the area of the old 
church was enclosed by a high wall, and 
was used as a burial place by the old family 
of Ballogie. There are no inscribed tomb- 
stones or tablets in the enclosure, however. 

Many years ago, when alterations were 
being carried out, a fine sculptured stone 
was discovered almost underneath the door- 
steps of the church. How long it may have 
been lying buried there it is impossible to 
say. It now stands within the grounds of 
Aboyne Castle. Besides displaying beauti- 
ful ornamentation, it has an Oghain in- 
scription, which has been translated by the 
late Lord Southesk (The Origins of Pictish 
Symbolism, p. 75) as follows: — 

[The stone] of the son of Talore. Fineach of 
Aber . . . . ? (Aber-don, or Aber-ythan?). 

A t a blest one bears — 
Sacred to the memory of Nathaniel Wilson. 

many years factor at Cluny, and late farmer 
in Mill of Kincardine, who died 24th November, 
1816, aged 76. And Euphemia Angus, his 
spouse, who died 8th May, 1808, aged 50. Also 
of their children — Robert, w ho died in Jamaica, 
19th December, 1814, aged 25; Nathaniel, who 
was killed at Waterloo in June, 1815, aged 29. 
Ann Milne, who died 7th July, 1816, aged 35, 
spouse to their son Charles, is also interred 

The death of the above Charles Wilson is 
not recorded in the inscription. He died 
at Inchmarnoch in 1865, aged 77. 

On a freestone headstone with a marble 
tablet inserted in front is— 

To the east of this stone layes the remains 
of Charles Brown, lat factor to the Earl of 
Aboyne, and Jannet Robertson, his spouse, the 
last died the 6th January, ag'd 71, the former 
died 26th January, ag'd 73 years, both in 
1794. The above left issue two sons and five 

Why do we mourn departing friends, 
Or shrinke at death's alarms, 
'Tis but the voice that Jesus sends 
To call us to His arms. 

Burial ground extends 6 foot south and 6 
foot north of this stone. 

Charles Brown was for long factor on the 
Aboyne estates, and knew intimately the 
private affairs of the family. Although 
offered a large sum by an unscrupulous 
laird to disclose some of these, he indig- 
nantly refused it. One of his daughters, 
Isabella, married David Hillocks, factor on 
Finhaven, Careston, and Hallyburton. 

A tablestone records as under — 

Sacred to the memory of Robert Duncan, late 
merchant and farmer at Nether Mill of Auchen- 
hove, who died the 21st August, 1781, aged 59 
years. Likewise of Jean Thomson, his spouse, 
who died the 4th October, 1801, aged 59 years. 
. . . Also of their son, the Rev. Joseph Dun- 
can, late minister of Kilrenny, in Fife, who de- 
parted this life there on the 28th May, 1818, 
aged 43 years. This stone is erected by their 
son, Alexander Duncan, schoolmaster of Durris. 
The said A. Duncan died 9th September, 1834, 



aged 71 years. Isabel, his sister, died 30th 
November. 1834, aged 65 years. Both interred 
here. . . . 

Rev. Joseph Duncan was licensed by the 
Presbytery of Tain on 30th March, 1803, 
and for some time acted as assistant at 
Kemback, being ordained minister of Kil- 
renny on 21st September, 1809. 

An idea of the miserable salaries for- 
merly paid to schoolmasters in country 
districts may be formed from the adver- 
tisement which appeared in the columns of 
the " Aberdeen Journal," and led to the 
above Alexander Duncan's appointment at 
Durris. After stating the salary at £100 
Scots, with £24 Scots additional for acting 
as session clerk (together these sums equal 
£10 6s 8d sterling), the advertisement pro- 
ceeds — " A person advanced in life, who 
has no views to the church, can teach Eng- 
lish, reading, writing, and arithmetic, with 
church music, will be preferred, although 
not qualified to teach Latin " ! 

In the area of the old church is a table- 
stone which displays a coat-of-arms, flanked 
by the initials A. M., and date 1776, hav- 
ing over it a Latin legend, which, trans- 
lated, reads " By Industry." The inscrip- 
tion is — 

Here ly the bodys of Margt. and Willm. 
Milnes, lawfull children to Alex. Milne, in 
Drumdowan, who died the 14th and 15th of 
Sept., 1774. Margaret aged 24. and Willm. 21 

Margt. Milne, who died 24th September, 1871, 
aged 77 years. 

Farewell my friends and parents dear, 

I bid you all adieu, 

I ly into this earthen tomb, 

Far distant am from you. 

Don't weep for me for their vain, 

For your groat loss 

Is my eternal gain. 

A tablestone is inscribed — 

The burial place and sacred to the memory 
of John Ogg, some time in Dundee, and there- 
after in Mosstown of Blelack, who died the 

8th March, 1804, aged 61 ; and his wife, Eliza- 
beth Steven, who died 23rd August, 1826, aged 
72 years . . Their son John, surgeon in 
Banchory, who died 5th November, 1846, aged 
54 ; and his wife, Rachel Roger, daughter of 
the Rev. John Roger, minister of Kincardine 
O'Neil, who died 26th October, 1832, aged 27 
years, and are buried in this grave. 

Dr Ogg had an extensive practice in and 
around Banchory. His wife was a 
daughter of Rev. John Roger, for fifty 
years minister of Kincardine O'Neil, who 
died 8th July, 1843, in his 81st year. Her 
elder sister, Helen, married Rev. James 
G. Garioch, of Strachan, while her eldest 
brother, William, was a miniature painter. 

A headstone has the undernoted in- 
scription — 

1845. Erected by John Birss, farmer in 
Bottomend, in memory of his son Isaac, who 
died 14th February, 1844, aged 18 years. Also 
his daughter, Ann, who died at New Zealand 
on 8th August, 1861, aged 31 years. The said 
John Birse, who died at Bottomend on 1st 
March, 1866, aged 85 years, and is interred 
here. Also Margaret Machray, relict of the 
late John Birss, who died at Bottomend on 
27th June, 1889, aged 96 years. 

No mortal woes 

Can reach the peaceful sleeper here, 

While angels watch his soft repose. 

A headstone alongside records the death 
of John Birss on 2nd June, 1894, aged 36, 
and of Edward William Birss, who died in 
infancy, both sons of Francis Birss, 

A headstone is inscribed — 

To the memory of Alexander Alexander, late 
in Dalquhing, who died 1774 aged 63. And of 
Peter Gordon, late Waterside of Birsemore, 
who died 1804, aged 63. 

This stone is placed here by Jean Milne their 

A tablestone shows a raised figure of 
the Angel Death standing upon the globe 
with extended arms, having in the one 



hand an hour-glass and in the other a 
scythe. A skull, coffin, etc., are also dis- 
played. The inscription is— 

Here lyes in hops of a Blessed Resurection 
the dust of Peter Cromar who lived in Kirk- 
toun of Aboyn. 

He died Oct 13 1770 aged 80 years. . . . 

The Poll Book shows that in 1696 there 
were four persons bearing the surname of 
Cromar liviug in Kirktown of Aboyne, 
and the above Peter Cromar had doubt- 
less been a son of one of them. 

Other tombstones record the deaths of 
George Cromar, farmer, Greencoats, who 
died in July, 1797, aged 61 ; of his wife 
Helen Ogg, who died 6th March, 1815, 
aged 75 ; of Peter Cromar, farmer, Bog- 
loch, who died 6th June, 1856, aged 62 ; 
and of his wife Isabella Robertson, who 
died 21st October, 1889, aged 92. Also 
of James, John, and Ann, children of the 
latter couple who all died young. 

James Cromar, M.A., for many years 
the distinguished teacher and rector of 
Aberdeen Grammar School, who died in 
1826, belonged to the district. 

A tablestone in the area of the old 
church bears the inscription — 

The grave of James Milne, late farmer in 
Mill of Dess. who died on 7th November, 1830, 
aged 40. Also his sister Jane, who died 26th 
May, 1875, aged 84. And their mother, Janet 
Cromar. who died 22nd June, 1846, aged 93. 

The hamlet of Kirktown, which stood 
near the graveyard and church, never in- 
cluded more than a few straggling cot- 
tages of primitive construction, and the 
rise of the village of Charlestown gradu- 
ally led to its complete eclipse. In 1696, 
the residenters in it included one or two 
crofters and their assistants, as also a 
weaver and a tailor. 


This churchyard stands around the 

Parish Church by the end of the village 
gieen. It contains a good many monu- 
ments, the oldest being a tablestone show- 
ing various emblems at the top, and at the 
bottom the initials E. S. and date 1780. 
The inscription is — 

Here lies the Body of John Shaw who lived 
in Charlestown of Aboyne 43 years, and Died 
Jany 9, 1779, in the 75 year of his age. 

A railed-in grave has a headstone bear- 
ing the inscription — 

In loving memory of The Rev. A. Henderson 
Moir, for 28 years the faithful and esteemed 
Minister of the Free Church, Aboyne, who died 
1st March, 1899, aged 54 years. Also of his only 
child Henrietta Elizabeth who died 29th Oct., 
1897, in her 13th year. 

Rev. A. H. Moir was the son of John 
Moir, messenger-at-arms, Aberdeen, and, 
after completing his divinity course, he 
acted for a short time as assistant at Bir- 
kenhead and Paisley, being inducted as 
Free Church minister of Aboyne in 1871, 
in succession to the late Rev. Mr Robert- 
son. He married a sister of Rev. H. E. 
Michie, Stonehaven, by whom he was 

In an enclosure is a headstone bearing 
the epitaph — 

Erected by David Smith, Farmer in Ferrar, 
to the memory of his eldest son George Gordon 
Smith, Writer in Aberdeen, who in the 23rd 
year of his age, was drowned by the upsetting 
of a boat at the entrance of the Aberdeen 
Harbour on the 26 of April, 1838. 

Two other young men, also in the vigour of 
health, shared the same fate. 

" Be ye also ready, for in the midst of life 
ye are in death." 

A railed-in grave has a headstone with 
the inscription — 

In memory of William Spark, of Craigiepark, 
near Aberdeen, who died there on 15th March, 
1870, in the 88th year of his age ; and of Helen 
Esson, his wife, who died 27th December, 1868, 
in her 78th year. 



Mr Spark for many years carried on a 
successful watchmaking and jewellery 
business in Aberdeen, and at his death left 
considerable means. Under his deed of 
settlement he bequeathed his heritable 
property and one-half of the residue of his 
moveable estate to his relative, Henry 
Smith, of Pawlett, near Bridgwater, who 
died, 15th October, 1904, after having been 
for upwards of fifty years resident agent 
of the Somerset estates of Lord De Mauley. 
The other half he left to his grand-nephew, 
Thomas Spark Sinclair (he was the 
son of William Sinclair, druggist, was 
an advocate in Aberdeen, and died 2nd 
June, 1906, aged 67), both beneficiaries 
being taken bound to assume the addi- 
tional surname of Spark. 

A headstone in a railed-in grave is in- 
scribed — 

In mcmoriam — Elizabeth Hill Cook, second 
daughter of the late Rev. George Cook, D.D., 
Kincardine O'Neil. Died at Bridge of Allan, 
4th December, 1888. 

Rev. George Cook was for some time 
minister of Midmar, being translated to 
Kincardine O'Neil in May, 1854. He 
married Agnes, daughter of Rev. Andrew 
Watson, of Tarland, and sister of Andrew 
Watson, advocate in Aberdeen, who suc- 
ceeded to the estate of Ardoe, Banchory- 
Devenick. Of Dr Cook's family, John was 
for some time in the service of the Oriental 
Bank, Calcutta, and was subsequently 
cashier of the Union Bank of Scotland, 
Aberdeen; Andrew Watson died on the 
West Coast of Africa at the age of 18 ; and 
of the daughters, besides the one above- 
mentioned, one married Rev. Alexander 
Young, minister of Chapel of Garioch ; a 
second married Dr Keith, Aboyne ; and a 
third married Rev. Dr Macpherson, Elgin. 

A handsome granite sarcophagus is in- 
scribed — 

In loving memory of John McGlashan, A M 
Tnst. C.E.. and of the G.I.P.Ry.. in India, who 

died at Aboyne on the 23rd day of September 
anno domini 1884, aged 42 years. 

He satisfieth the longing soul. 

Mr McGlashan was district resident 
engineer of the G.I. P. Railway, Bombay, 
and died when on holiday at Aboyne, as 
above. His wife, Jane Poison, died in 
Aberdeen on 1st February, 1907. 

A railed-in enclosure has two headstones, 
which are inscribed respectively — 

In loving remembrance of Sophia, younger 
daughter of Colonel Patrick Duncan of Preas- 
mor who fell asleep in Jesus, 18 May, 1899. 
aged 45 years. 

The friend of little children, loving and be- 
loved. She gave her life for others. St John 
ix. 4. 

In loving memory of Colonel Patrick Duncan, 
R.A., of Preasmor. Born 18th March. 1827; 
died 2nd February, 1901. 

"Ever with the Lord.' 

—1st Thess. iv. 17. 

Colonel Duncan, who was a native of 
Braemar, entered the army while young, 
and saw much service in China. On his 
retirement, he settled in Aboyne, where 
he took a deep interest in all religious and 
philanthropic objects. 

A granite headstone has a sun-dial on the 
top, with an inscription upon the dial — 
Man's days are as a shadow that passeth away. 

The headstone is inscribed — 

In loving remembrance of Robert Milne, for 
about 60 years gamekeeper to the Marquises 
of Huntly, who died at Viewmount Cottage on 
the 15th July, 1888, aged 83 years ; also of his 
wife Elizabeth Irvine, who died on the 20th 
April, 1888, aged 81 years. 

Near the above is another headstone, 
which bears — 

In loving memory of John Milne, for 39 
years gamekeeper in Glen Tanor, who there 
met, his death by gunshot accident on the 6th 



February. 1882, aged 57 years. Also his wife, 
Jane Anderson, who died on the 21st June, 
1902. aged 81 years. 

A granite headstone has the following 
inscription — 

In memory of the Rev. Alexander Watt, 40 
years minister of the Free Church of Scotland. 
in the parish of Kinneff, Kincardineshire. 
Born, 22nd December, 1822; died 22nd May, 

Rev. Alexander Watt was the son of 
Alexander Watt, carrier, Aboyne. He 
married Anne Campbell, daughter of a 
ship captain in Aberdeen. He was a 
strong educationalist, and rendered good 
service on the School Board of Arbuth- 
nott, as well as that of his own parish of 
Kinneff. As a preacher he had a fluent 
and attractive style. It is interesting to 
record that his predecessor in the charge 
at Kinneff was Dr Thomas Brown, author 
of "The Annals of the Disruption," while 
his (Mr Watt's) successor, Dr James 
Hastings, has become well known in the 
literary world as the editor of the 
" Dictionary of the Bible." 


Charlestown, which took its title from 
Charles, first Earl of Aboyne, is a burgh- 
of-barony. It is a prosperous and pic- 
turesquely-situated village, with many fine 
villas. In the summer season, it is largely 
frequented by tourists, who benefit from 
its salubrious climate. Besides the Parish 
Church already referred to, it has a Gothic 
United Free Church, with a graceful spire, 
and a Roman Catholic Church — St 

A massive suspension bridge spans the 
Dee and connects the Glentanner with the 
north side of the parish. A bridge at the 
same point was swept away by the great 
flood of August, 1829. 

The parish has been the birthplace of 
several eminent men, including Thomas 

Iunes, Principal of the Scots College at 
Paris, and the author of various civil, 
ecclesiastical, and antiquarian works. 
Peter Williamson, who attained notoriety 
through being kidnapped at Aberdeen and 
transported to Virginia, where he was sold 
as a slave, was a native. 

Several of the parishioners espoused the 
cause of the Pretender, and were out in 
the '45. Of these, probably the most 
influential was James Innes of Balnacraig, 
who served in the "Rebel Life Guards." 
After Culloden, a party of soldiers took 
possession of the mansion-house, and pro- 
ceeded with the arrangements for firing 
it. Combustibles having been gathered, 
the light was about to be applied, when 
one of the soldiers thrust his head into a 
jar of honey. His efforts to remove it 
were unavailing, and his predicament 
caused much amusement to the whole 
party. Ultimately, the luckless soldier 
was relieved by the breaking off of part of 
the mouth of the jar. During the merri- 
ment, a counter order to save the build- 
ing arrived. It is almost superfluous to 
add that the broken honey jar was care- 
fully preserved by the family as a re- 
minder of their narrow escape. 


From Rev. Robert Milne Miller's ex- 
haustive account of the parish, in the New 
Statistical Account, the following parti- 
culars are extracted to show the difference 
between the methods of farming, together 
with the habits of the people of a little 
more than a century ago and now. In 
1792 the fields were regularly checkered by 
baulk and rig. Drill husbandry and green 
crops not to be seen, save in a few rare 
patches of grass or turnips in some of the 
farmers' kailyards. The breed of cattle 
light, and of an inferior stamp ; the horses 
Highland garrons; the sheep small in 



carcase and scanty in wool. The houses 
of simple structure, lums for chimneys, 
and wooden boards for windows. Cur- 
rocks and creels and litter trees supplied 
the place of carts ; and hair and moss fir 
tethers, or willow and birch withes, were 
substitutes for hempen ropes. The quern 
or hand grinding stone was partially used. 
Clumsy and ill-constructed ploughs were 
drawn by ten or twelve oxen, and the gad- 
man's whistle, in autumn and spring, 
heard on every side. The roads were 
wretched ; and the nearest Post Office and 
bakehouse at Aberdeen. Many young men 
appeared in kilt, hose, and brogues; and 
all, old and young, at church and market, 
with breacan and bonnet. The women, 
too, were dressed mostly in home-made 
stuffs, and gudewives adorned with the 
barred plaid. From seed time to harvest 
it any of the men were employed in the 
manufacture of tubs, harrows, plough- 
beams, etc., which they carried to mar- 
kets. In summer, the women were em- 
ployed in spinning the wool of their sheep. 


On the hill of Mortlich, which rises to a 
height of 1248 feet above sea level, and is 
the highest point in the parish on the 
north side of the Dee, a granite obelisk, 
with a cross, was erected in 1868 to the 
memory of Charles, 10th Marquis of 
Huntly, by his second wife (Mary An- 
toinetta, only surviving daughter of Rev. 
Peter William Pegus and of his wife, the 
Countess-Dowager of Lindsay), and the 
tenantry of Aboyne. The monument, 
which extends to a height of 60 feet, is 
inscribed — 

Charles, 10th Marquis of Huntly ; died 18th 
September, 1863. Erected by Mary Antoinette, 
his widow, and the tenantry of Aboyne. 

These were the parents of the present 
Marquis of Huntly. 

Besides the sculptured stone in the poli- 
cies of Aboyne Castle already described, 
there is a second sculptured stone, which 
was carried hence from an eminence on 
the banks of Loch Kinnord. It is an up- 
right cross slab of pink granite, and fully 
six feet in height. It bears on one side 
a large cross, with beautiful ornamenta- 

From time to time various articles of 
ancient date have been discovered within 
the parish. Of these, not the least in- 
teresting are three massive armlets of 
bronze, which were unearthed while 
ploughing operations were proceeding in 
ground which had the appearance of hav- 
ing never been broken up. As a result 
of careful examination and chemical 
analysis by experts, they were pronounced 
to belong to the period anterior to the 
Roman occupation of Britain. 



According to the author of the ' ' View 
of the Diocese of Aberdeen," the name 
' ' Glentaner " is so applied ' ' because it is 
a valley along Taner, which here falls into 
Dee." It ought to have been added that 
the word Tana (Taner or Tanner is a cor- 
ruption) is pure Gaelic, and signifies 
shallow as applied to water. It accurately 
describes the stream flowing through the 
glen, in contrast to the deep and rapid 
flowing river Dee, into which it falls. 

The greater portion of the parish was 
originally a forest, which attained fame 
not only for game, but for its superior 
Scotch fir trees. 

An excellent public road passes along the 
north side near to the Dee, while an old 
military road led to the south through the 
glen. This road is alleged to have been 



traversed by Edward I. with an army in 
his abortive attempt to conquer Scotland, 
and it is known that Montrose passed over 
it in 1645. 

The lands of ' ' Glentanyr, ' ' with those of 
Aboyne, etc., were bestowed upon the Earl 
of Huntly by grant on 29th January, 


The old Parish Church stood within the 
graveyard near the Dee, and to the east of 
the farm of Coblehengh. It was thatched 
with heather, and, in consequence, became 
known as the Black Chapel of the Moor. 
All that now remains is the west gable, 
with its corbel steps, the whole being over- 
grown by ivy. 

For some time after the Reformation, 
the seven churches of Glentanner, Crathy, 
Glenmuk, Abergardin, Birss, Tullich, and 
Oboyne were all under the superintendence 
of one minister. In 1567, John Ross was 
reader at Glentanner with a salary of 
16 lib. His successor was Henry Middle- 
ton, who, in 1576, was followed by James 
Cushny. Two years later, John Guthrie 
was installed, but in the following year he 
gave place to Gilbert Brown. In 1615-19, 
William Bruce was reader, and his name is 
perpetuated through his having been an 
attesting witness to many of the Aboyne 

In 1621, the right of presentation to the 
kirk was, with other privileges, bestowed 
by Parliament upon the family of Forbes 
of Craigievar. (Acts Parliament.) 

It is apparent that the district was 
formerly unable to support a minister, and 
this doubtless led to the parish being sup- 
pressed and united to Aboyne. As early as 
1666, practical steps were taken to bring 
about the union, inasmuch as representa- 
tives were elected from the Presbyteries of 
Kincardine O'Neil, Alford, and Garioch, 
to visit and perambulate the boundaries of 

both kirks, to confer with the heritors and 
others interested, and to report upon the 
whole question. As a result, the union 
was shortly afterwards formed, but down 
to 1763 service continued to be conducted 
in both churches, in the rotation of two 
Sabbaths at Aboyne, and the third at 
Glentanner. In that year, however, a new 
central church for the accommodation of 
the united parish was built at Charlestown 
of Aboyne, and this structure sufficed till 
1842, when the present church was erected. 


The old parish graveyard, which is en- 
closed by a substantial stone and lime wall, 
is comparatively small in extent. It has 
been partially levelled up, and the height 
of the surrounding ground above the area 
of the old church indicates that many 
interments have taken place. 

It is traditionally asserted that, long 
ago, the plague raged in the district with 
the utmost violence, but that ultimately, 
on the special days of Monday and Friday, 
an abatement began to manifest itself. 
Out of gratitude, the people abstained from 
breaking ground for interments in the 
churchyard on these days. This observ- 
ance was rigidly adhered to down to recent 

The tombstones are not numerous, and 
none are older than the middle of the 
eighteenth century. 


There are several headstones to members 
of a family named Gillanders, of whom 
Isaac Gillanders, late farmer, Mill of 
"Dinot," died 5th May, 1834, aged 68. 
His widow, Euphemia Milne, died 21st 
July, 1860, aged 85. Their sons— James 
died 11th January, 1816, aged 13 ; Isaac 
died 13th April, 1848, aged 35 ; and John 
died 3rd September, 1858, aged 44 ; and 




their daughter Mary died 4th January, 
1874, aged 66. 

David Gillanders, farmer, Mill of Dinnet, 
died 8th August, 1879, aged 70. His 
sisters — Margaret died 6th June, 1876, 
aged 70; Elizabeth died 20th December, 
1876, aged 73; and Isabella died 26th 
January, 1900, aged 92. 

Francis Gillanders, Lary, died 8th 
November, 1853, aged 82. His wife, Isabel 
Ross, died 6th February, 1844, aged 37. . . 

Jane Tawse, wife of James Gillanders, 
son of the preceding couple, died 14th 
June, 1889, aged 56; and their daughters, 
Jane died 28th April, 1891, aged 36; 
Mary died 21st November, 1870, aged 9; 
and Isabel died 13th July, 1862, aged 10 

David Gillanders, some time farmer in 
Lary, died 26th September, 1888, aged 78 ; 
and his spouse, Isabella Wright, died in 
September, 1841, aged 42. His spouse, 
Ann M'Kenzie, died 5th July, 1877, aged 
56; and their sons Charles died 26th July, 
1868, aged 1 ; James died 12th July, 1868, 
aged 14; and David Gillanders, jun., far- 
mer, Lary, died 23rd May, 1888, aged 34 ; 
and Mary died 30th April, 1896, aged 39. 

According to the author of the " New 
Statistical Account," a member of the 
above family was the eighteenth succes- 
sive eldest son who had been born on the 
same farm. The statement must be taken, 
however, with considerable reservation. 


A grey granite obelisk in the form of a 
cross — with the sacred monogram 
" I. H. S." cut in the centre of the cross 
— has the following inscription on the 
base — 

Sacred to the memory of James Robertson, 
who departed this life on the 4th day of April, 
1814, aged 71 years ; and of Helen Macdonald, 
his spouse, who died on the 11th day of Augutf, 
1813, aged 60 years. 

Also of Mary Robertson, their daughter, 
widow of Kenneth Stewart, who died at Aber- 
deen on 2nd March, 1867, aged 85 years. 

James Robertson was tenant of the farm 
of Ballaterach, and his wife, Helen 
Macdonald, was the daughter of Captain 
Macdonald of Rinetan, who claimed to be 
a descendant of the Lord of the Isles. Of 
their large family, three sons entered the 
Honourable East India Company's service, 
and rose to the rank of colonel, while two 
other sons were educated for the Roman 
Catholic priesthood. Kenneth Stewart, 
who married the second daughter, Mary, 
was an Excise officer, for some time sta- 
tioned at Crathie. 

Ballaterach has been rendered famous 
through its having been, for a brief period, 
in 1796, the abode of the poet Byron, 
whilst recruiting from an attack of scarlet 
fever. From here he made the daily ex- 
cursions so graphically depicted in his 
poem, " When I roved a young High- 
lander." The heroine of that piece is 
held by many to be the above Mary 
Robertson (some declare in favour of Mary 
Duff), who would at that time have been 
fourteen years of age. An excellent sum- 
mary of the authorities bearing upon the 
question is given by Mr Robert Anderson 
in " Scottish Notes and Queries " for De- 
cember, 1892. The New Spalding Club's 
volume, " The Records of Invercauld," pp. 
389-95, and "The Letters of Lord Byron," 
by Rowland E. Prothero, in Murray's 
latest edition of the Poems, also afford in- 
formation upon the subject. 

Unfortunately, the panelled " Box- 
bed " in which Byron is said to have slept 
when at Ballaterach, was destroyed by fire 
nearly forty years ago. 


A tablestone formerly stood upon two 
ornamental supports, on one of which were 
the initials, "M. M. F.," and on the other 



a scroll, etc., with a warning in Latin, 
which, translated, is " Remember death !" 
The tablestone is inscribed — 

This stone was placed here by Murdoch 
M'Farlane, schoolmaster in Tillyoairn, and is 
sacred to the memory of six of his children, who 
are interred in this place 

And also in memory of James M'Farlane and 
Isabel Bowman, his parents, who both died in 
1764, aged 82 years each. 

Unmarked by trophies of the great and vain, 
Here sleep in silent tomb a humble twain ; 
With honest fame and sober plenty crown'd, 
They lived content, beloved of all around. 
May he who thus this pious tribute pays, 
Receive a like return of filial praise. 

In early times a hamlet stood at Tilly- 
cairn, and the names of seven of its 
tenants, with two servants, are recorded in 
the Poll Book of 1696. 

A headstone bears the following in- 
scription — 

Erected by John Birss, farmer, Tilphoudie, 
in memory of his wife, Isabella Begg, who died 
26th December, 1852, aged 63 years. And cf 
their family, James, who died 5th September, 
1830, aged 10 years; Helen, who died 2nd June, 
1853, aged 28 years; and William, who died 
26th August, 1857, aged 32 years. Also Jessie, 
who died 4th September, 1860, aged 29 years. 
Margaret, who died 14th May, 1864, aged 50 
years. The said John Birss, who died at 
Tilphoudie, Aboyne, 7th April, 1866, aged 82 
years, and is interred here. 

Tilphoudie had formerly a mansion 
house, which formed the residence of a 
branch of the Gordons, previously designed 
of Auchmenzie and Auchmalidy. John 
Gordon, the last of the old sept, who died 
in 1722, sold the lands to the Earl of 
Aboyne. It is alleged that when a mere 
boy an effort was made to inveigle him into 
a marriage with a penniless lady of fifty 
summers. He escaped from the snare, 
only, however, to be wedded to his cousin 
at the early age of 15. Full particulars 
respecting the family will be found- in 

the New Spalding Club's volume, "The 
Records of Aboyne," by Lord Huntly. 

A tombstone bears the inscription — 

1824. Erected to the memory of Margrate 
Sim, spouse, to John Cumming, Upper Bella- 
strein, who died the 5th day of March, 1824, 
aged 63 years. 

Bellastrein or Bellastrain was formerly a 
small lairdship, and belonged to the family 
of Garden. James Garden was proprietor 
in 1696, when he polled as " a gentleman," 
and he was succeeded by his son Charles, 
who died in 1761, at the age of 90. They 
were related to the Gardens of Troup and 
the Gardens of Midstrath. 

A tablestone bears the following in- 
Here lye the remains of Robert Davidson, 
late farmer in the Bordland, who departed this 
life on the 27th October, 1810, aged 73 years. 
Also his spouse, Jt. Davidson, who died 19th 
Octr., 1819, aged 82 years. 

In testimony of filial affection to his memory, 
this stone is placed here by his son, Peter 
Davidson, who died 19th November, 1846, aged 
78. Also his spouse, Elizabeth Birss, who died 
22nd March, 1843, aged 58. 

Remember, man, as you pass bye, 
As you are now, so once was I, 
As I am now, so you must be, 
Remember, man, to follow me. 

A headstone bears — 

In memory of William Birss, for many years 
farmer in Tillyoairn of Glentanner, who died 
3rd August, 1821, aged 81 years; and of his 
spouse, Jane Ross, who died 12th January, 1819, 
aged 81 years. 

Impressed with Feelings of the Sincerest at- 
tachment to much loved Parents, their Son, 
Charles Birss, erected this Stone to their 

And his brother Francis, died at Balgranie, 
30th May, 1858, aged 79. His wife, Margret 
M'Grigar, died 29th January, 1852, aged 50. 
Their daughter Elezabeth, died 24th August, 
1846, aged 28. 

Members of the Birss family tenanted 




Tillycairn for a long period. John Birss 
was the occupant in 1696. 

A grey granite stone fixed into the inner 
side of the old church gable is inscribed — 

In memory of William Duncan, for many 
^ears farmer in Decoastle, who died at Watcr- 
naldy on the 29th December, 1868, aged 80 years, 
and of Margaret Thomson, his beloved wife, 
who died on the 4th March, 1864, aged 75 years. 

And also of their son William, who died on 
the 11th January, 1860, aged 36 years. 

And their eldest son Jonathan Duncan for 50 
years farmer in Deecastle, died 1st January 
1905, aged 83 years. 

And his wife Ann Troup died 24 Jan., 1897, 
aged 74 years. 

And their children — Annie died 23 Mar. 1863 
aged 7 years, and John who died in infancy. 

Jonathan Duncan had an intimate 
knowledge of the ancient history of the 
district and of its numerous changes. He 
was survived by a son, William, who con- 
tinues the tenancy of Deecastle, and two 
daughters, one of whom is Mrs David 
Dewar, Cults. 

Deecastle stands about two miles south- 
west of Dinnet Bridge, and is the modern 
name for CanJecaill or Kandychyle. Here 
formerly stood a hunting seat of the 
Huntly family, in which it is alleged the 
first Duke of Gordon was born. 

An old ballad records the regret ex- 
pressed to a waiting maid by one of the 
ladies of the castle at having been induced 
to marry a heartless English lord and to 
take up her residence south of the Tweed. 
Love for her old home and its beauties 
finds expression in the two following 
verses — 

We'l up the muir o' Charlestown, 

An' ouer the water o' Dee : 

An' sine awa' to Kyan-na-kyl, 

It's there that we sud be. 

For there the bonnie, bonnie birks 

Wave i' the scented air, 
An' mingle wi' the elder trees, 

An' their blossoms white an' fair. 

The late Mr Michie (Loch Kinnord, p. 
86) records that on the night of 23rd 
March, 1641, when "Kandychyle" was 
occupied by Colonel Gardyne and a small 
force of soldiers to repress the caterans 
who had been doing mischief in the dis- 
trict, a sudden fire broke out, which com- 
pletely destroyed the building and its 

It is believed by many that the fire was 
wilftuly raised. 

A grey granite obelisk is inscribed — 

In memory of Alexander Ritchie, merchant, 
Deecastle, who died at Tillenturk, 25th Novem- 
ber, 1887, aged 89 years. Also his wife, Jane 
Calder, who died 6th August, 1858, aged 55 
years ; and their family, John, who died at 
Arbroath, 24th February, 1864, aged 39 years; 
Archibald, who died 26th August, 1877, aged 
41 years; Jonathan, who died in India, 23rd 
July, 1884, aged 43 years. 


In the " Kalendar of Scottish Saints," 
by Bishop Forbes, appears the name of 
Lesmo, a hermit who laboured in Glen- 
tanner. The word ''Lesmo" signifies 
light in the desert, and the hermit is 
credited by ancient Scottish ecclesiastical 
writers with having introduced Christianity 
into the district. He died in the year 
a.d. 731, and was canonised, his feast day 
being observed on 9th December. 

In early times a military fortress stood 
in the glen, but on its falling into decay, 
its stones were utilised in the erection of 
a dwelling-house for William Garden, laird 
of Bellamore and Braeline. The hand of 
time ultimately levelled even that build- 
ing, until all that remained intact was the 
arched gateway. 

In 1870-71, William Cunliffe Brooks 
(afterwards Sir William Cunliffe Brooks, 
Bart.), tenant of Glentanner, had the 
stones of the above building carefully col- 
lected, and with them had a private chapel 



erected, incorporating in it the ancient 
gateway referred to. It was consecrated 
by the late Bishop Suther to the memory 
of St Lesmo. Externally, the edifice is 
plain and covered by thatch, while inter- 
nally the pews are rustic and covered with 
deer skins. Antlers (with the skulls) are 
used for the adornment of the upper walls, 
and in the roof are shown a number of 
coloured bosses, illustrative of the stars in 
the firmament. The edifice is furnished 
with a beautiful altar and pulpit, and a 
special feature is the baptismal font, con- 
structed of a mass of porphry found in the 
district, and most skilfully fashioned. 

The bell bears to have been cast by J. 
Warner and Sons, London, while on its 
stock is the inscription — 
t S. Lesmo. 

Near the church is St Lesmo' s Well, at 
which is the inscription — 

Drink, weary Pilgrim, Drink and Pray. 

Around the church is a small graveyard, 
in which several interments have taken 
place. There are only six inscribed monu- 


Close to the church door is a large 
railed-in space, in which is a massive raised 
granite kerbing, with a cross at one end. 
On the upper side of the kerb a harp is 
shown with some of the strings broken. 
Underneath in large letters is the in- 
scription — 

In loving memory of Sir William Cunliffe 
Brooks, Bart. Born, 30th September, 1819 ; 
died 9th June, 1900. 

I will lay me down in peace and take my rest. 
— Ps. iv. 9. 

Sir William Cunliffe Brooks, Bart, (the 
baronetcy was conferred in 1886), who was 
descended from an old family of Lanca- 
shire yeomen, was educated at Rugby 
under Dr Arnold, and subsequently at 

Cambridge. He was admitted to the Inner 
Temple, but soon gave up the legal pro- 
fession in favour of the family business of 
banker, which he largely extended. He 
was twice married — first, to Jane Eliza- 
beth, daughter of Ralph Orrell, of Stock- 
port, who died in 1865 ; and, secondly, in 
1879, to Jane, daughter of Lieutenant- 
Colonel Sir David Davidson, K.C.B., by 
whom he is survived. Of issue by the first 
marriage, two daughters survive — namely, 
Amy, who is married to the present Mar- 
quis of Huntly ; and Edith, married to 
Lord Francis Cecil, second son of the Mar- 
quis of Exeter. He was for some time 
M.P. for East Cheshire before sitting for 
the Altrincham division of the county. 
He became tenant of Glentanner in 1869, 
from which time till his death he followed 
a generous and varied system of improve- 
ment. No better monument to his 
memory could be seen than the many 
handsome cottages and villas erected for 
his servants, and the renewal of the various 
farm houses and steadings. In the 
language of a contemporary, he has left 
the glen a smiling valley, clothed in peace 
and plenty, with double the population. 
His moveable estate was very large, while 
he owned landed property in England, the 
lands and forest of Glentanner, and the 
Aboyne Castle estate — the three last-men- 
tioned being previously portions of the ex- 
tensive possessions of the Marquis of 

From the trustees of Sir William, the 
estate — extending to nearly 30,000 acres- 
was purchased in 1905 by Mr George 
Coats, who is married to a daughter of 
Mr Black, one of Scotland's most success- 
ful publishers. 


A large rough stone in the wall is 
chiselled down on the inner side. At the 



upper left side a cross is shown, while 
underneath is the inscription — 

Sacred to the memory of Donald Mackintosh, 
deer stalker (none better), who departed this 
life the 30th day of May, 1876, and of Margaret, 
his wife, who, within a week, was also buried 

t Requiescant in pace. 

A huge boulder stone, upwards of sis 
feet in height stands at the foot of this 

The next inscription, taken from a white 
marble tablet fixed in a wall monument, 
refers to a child of the above couple — 

In memory of Theresa. Born April 8th, 
1874 ; died 19th of same month, daughter of 
Donald Mackintosh and Margaret Burton, bis 

Ere sin could blight or sorrow fade, 
Death came with friendly care, 

The opening bud to Heaven conveyed, 
And bade it blossom there. 

In a small enclosure is a granite cross 
showing the sacred letters "I. H. S.," and 
the inscription on the base — 

Erected by Charles and Jane Ewen in memory 
of their children Edith Mary, who died De- 
cember 15th, 1888, aged 7 months. Also William 
Cunliffe Brooks, who died December 24th, 1891, 
aged 5 months. 

A granite monument, covering the whole 
grave space, has the following brief in- 
scription — 

William Thomas Berry. Died 16th April, 
1893, aged 29 years. 

Faithful servant. 


Under the liberal policy followed by Sir 
William a large number of wells and 
water-troughs have been constructed at 
convenient points. Many of these display 
excellent artistic taste, while appropriate 
mottoes and quotations are inscribed. 

Amongst others, the following may be men- 
tioned — 

Drink, weary traveller, on thy way, 

And on thy journey fare ; 
"lis given by God Almighty's hand, 
And stored by human care. 

From earth I flow, 
Seaward I go. 

Refreshing the world on my way ; 
My duty done. 
My guerdon won, 
I rise on celestial ray. 

Men may come and men may go, 
But I go on for ever. 

Honest water never left man iu the mire. 

Perhaps the most handsome fountain is 
that by the side of the public road and 
close to the Public School, erected in 
honour of the Diamond Jubilee of Her 
Majesty the late Queen Victoria. It is 
constructed of dressed granite, having the 
water-trough in the centre with a high 
rounded background. In the centre of a 
massive moulding, a crown is neatly cut, 
while on either side are the inscriptions — 


Shape thyself for use. 

The stone that may fit in the wall 

Is left not in the way. 

Then may Fate thy measure take, 
And say I find thee worthy, 
Do this deed for me. 

Underneath is the principal inscription, 
thus — 

Victoria, Queen and Empress, has reigned for 
60 years, a bright and shining light to her 
people, who everywhere record loyalty to her 
and gratitude to God. 

1837 — 1897. 

At Bridge of Ash or Ess, where the glen 
is entered from the public road, is a well, 



on the granite supports of which is the in- 
scription — 

Well of Weloome. 

At Bridge of Tanner is another well, 
holding forth the old Highland welcome— 
Cead Mille Failte. 


Urns and calcined bones have at various 
times been unearthed throughout the dis- 
trict. At Cairnmore, near Hillhead, in 
1818, human bones and a pin, with a small 
gold chain of four links, were found. Ten 
years later, several urns containing ashes 
were discovered, while about 50 yards dis- 
tant the soil presented a dark appearance 
with small pieces of charcoal embedded in 
it, where probably the burning of the 
bodies had taken place preparatory to the 
calcined remains being placed in the urns. 
These and other discoveries give proof 
that the district had been peopled at a 
very eaily period. The ready facilities 
afforded for hunting and fishing had 
doubtless proved important attractions. 


The parishioners were not always the 
peaceful and law-abiding subjects they 
now are. In July, 1593, a number of dis- 
orderly natives, in concert with a roving 
band from Birse, made a descent upon 
Aberdeen and district, murdering and mal- 
treating many of those who opposed them. 
After securing a considerable quantity of 
spoil, they retreated to their old haunts. 
In the earlier part of the last century they 
were noted smugglers, it being recorded 
that as many as fourteen illicit stills were 
at work in the glen at one time. 

In 1715 the forest was utilised by the 
Earl of Mar as a rendezvous for the as- 
sembling of the Highland host preparatory 
to moving to Braemar. 


The name Belhelvie is held by many to 
be of Gaelic origin, and to signify the place 
of seven streams, in reference to the fact 
that seven rivulets bound or pass through 
the parish. 

The church was one of the fifty-eight 
Scottish sanctuaries which were dedicated 
to St Colm, or Columba, whose feast was 
observed upon 9th June, and whose name 
is perpetuated by St Colm's Well, which 
is close to the graveyard. It is believed 
that at a very early date there had also 
been a chapel dedicated to St Ternan, as, 
in 1305, complaint was made to Edward I. 
that " Balhelvi possessed in King Alex- 
ander's time a piece of land called ' St 
Ternan's land,' lying between St Ternan's 
Chapel and the sea on the north, which 
was leased to the Thane of Balhelvie by 
the parson of Lony, after whose decease 
the land was . . . taken by force from 
the church in the time of the war." In- 
quiry was ordered to be made. (Cal. of 
Documents relating to Scotland, II., 
p. 468.) It is possible that this was one 
of the three chapels which are known to 
have stood at Milden, Ardo, and Muirton 
respectively. A field at each of the two 
first-named is still known as Chapelpark. 

' ' Ecclesiam de Balhelvy ' ' is included in 
the Bull of 1157, by Adrian IV. to Edward, 
Bishop of Aberdeen (Antiq., I., p. 144-5), 
and in 1256 the parson was raised to the 
dignity of a prebend of the Cathedral 
Church of Aberdeen. 

Orem (p. 118), in describing the chapter 
and the manses in Old Aberdeen, says — 
" No. 6 was the parson of Belhelvie. His 
manse is in a great house, opposite to the 
public style of St Machar's Church and 
built by George Seton, parson of Belhelvie, 
witness his name, armorial coat, three roses 
and a crescent ; and, for his crest, a car- 



dinal's cap with its tresses, yet (1724-25) 
to be seen." In 1685, this manse was 
granted to the Duke of Gordon. (Acts of 

The old parish church stood within the 
graveyard on the lower side of the public 
road leading from Aberdeen to Peterhead. 
Describing it, Logan in his MS. says — 

The kirk ... is built east and west, with 
an aisle on the south side, which makes the plan 
nearly three equal wings. On the jambs of the 
aisle windows are slight mouldings, but the 
building is otherwise plain. . . . Mr Ragg, 
who was minister . . . [1745-1786] . . . 
had the west end taken down and rebuilt, be- 
fore which time there was a stone stair outside 
that led to the gallery. His name, with the 
date of erection, are cut on the bell house, but 
they are illegible from the ground. 

Of the edifice thus described all that now 
remain are a small portion of the aisle, and 
the west gable which is covered by ivy. 
Surmounting the latter is the belfry, on 
which still hangs the old bell, which was 
cast by the same founder, and in the same 
year, as that of the bell of Strichen. It 
has an inscription which is partly in Latin. 
In English it is — 

Henrick Ter Horst made me at Deyenter in 

Belonging to the church are four Com- 
munion cups, of solid silver, hammered. 
Two are inscribed — 

For ye Kirk of Relhelvy. Anno Domini, 1636. 

The other two bear the inscription — 

1637. Dedicat be M. Da Lyndsay. For ye 
use of ye Lord's Supper. 

There are also two pewter plates marked 
" Belhelvie," which are now used only 
upon Communion Sundays to receive the 

At the Reformation the parish was in- 
cluded in the Presbytery of Aberdeen. In 
1645, it was attached to the Presbytery of 
Ellon, but twenty-three years later it was 
reunited to Aberdeen, in which it still is. 

A new parish church was erected at 
Drumhead in 1878 at a cost of £3150. It 
is of Gothic design, and is surmounted by 
a belfry rising to about 70 feet. 


Rev. James Strachan was parish minister 
at the Reformation, and was the last 
Roman Catholic incumbent to hold that 
office. In 1559, he was entrusted with the 
custody of ninety-one ounces weight of the 
utensils of the Cathedral of Aberdeen. 
(Orem, p. 172.) 

In 1567, the parish was supplied by 
Gilbert Kello, reader, whose salary was 
xs. lib. 

In 1570, Rev. George Paterson, previ- 
ously a Regent in King's College, became 
minister, having Kintore and Kinellar 
likewise in charge. Three years later he 
was translated to the parish of Daviot, 
where he is said to have played the part of 
a small bishop for more than 20 years. 

In 1576, Rev. Patrick Gardyne was 
elected. He continued till his death, 
which took place in July, 1614. (New 
Spalding Club's Sheriff Court Records, II., 
p. 70.) 

The next incumbent was Rev. David 
Lindsay, M.A., who was Rector of King's 
College at least from 1645 to 1650. He is 
described by Dr Scott [Fasti] as one of the 
most active and energetic in the cause of 
the Covenanters, who yet continued under 
Episcopacy. He died 25th November, 
1667, aged about 84. He was a bold, 
Stirling, pragmatical man, and a pious 
and zealous preacher. He married Mar- 
garet Annand (Sheriff Court Records), 
and had, with two daughters — Elizabeth 
and Helen — a son, John, who was designed 
in 1672 as of Easter Tyrie. (Session Re- 
cords.) He was the author of several 
publications in prose and verse, including 
" Scotlandis Halleluiah," "A Dolorous 
Expression," "An Eclog," and "The 



Convert's Cordiall." In 1637, he pre- 
sented the two Communion cups already 
referred to. 

The succeeding minister was Rev. 
George Innes, M.A., who at an earlier 
period had been parish schoolmaster, there- 
after minister of Dipple, and subsequently 
of Kinnernie, from which he was trans- 
lated to Belhelvie and inducted on 8th 
March, 1668. He received the degree of 
D.D. He died in 1697. A son, George, 
died in September, 1710, and a daughter, 
Anna, in 1701. (Edinburgh Registers.) 

Rev. Alexander Mitchell, M.A., gover- 
nor to Charles Maitland, younger of Pit- 
trichie, was ordained successor on 28th 
February, 1699. He was translated to 
Old Macbar, and inducted there on 31st 
August, 1714. The Edinburgh registers 
show that on 18th July, 1699, he married 
Jean, daughter of Thomas Innes, local 
factor to the Earl of Panmure, and that 
they had a family of at least three sons, 
Thomas, John, and Alexander, besides a 
daughter, Margaret. In 1708, he became 
proprietor of North Colpnay, to which his 
son Alexander, merchant in Aberdeen, who 
married Ann, daughter of Rev. William 
Osborne, minister of Fintray, ultimately 

Rev. James Keith intruded during the 
Rebellion of 1715, but is not noticed by 

On 14th March, 1716, Rev. William 
Dyce, M.A., younger brother of James 
Dyce of Disblair, and a son of Andrew 
Dyce, merchant, Old Aberdeen, was or- 
dained. He died 23rd July, 1724, aged 
35. He had married Katharine, daughter 
of Rev. David Anderson, Professor of 
Divinity in King's College, and previously 
parish minister of Foreran. (See 
Foreran.) She died in 1773, having had 
a son, Andrew, and two daughters, 
Katharine and Janet. The last-named 
married William Forbes, coppersmith, 

Aberdeen, progenitor of the Forbeses of 
Callander and Castleton. 

On 22nd July, 1725, Rer. David Brown, 
M.A., previously minister of Peterhead, 
was inducted. He married the Hon. 
Isabella, fourth and youngest daughter of 
William, eleventh Lord Saltoun. He was 
deposed for adultery on 18th October, 1744. 
Of the four children of the marriage, one 
daughter, Margaret, married Alexander 
Scroggs, merchant, Aberdeen. Elizabeth, 
sister of Mr Brown, was the second wife of 
George Fordyce of Broadford, merchant, 
and for some time Provost of Aberdeen. 

The succeeding incumbent, Rev. Thomas 
Ragg, M.A., previously minister of Dyce, 
was admitted 5th June, 1745. He had a 
previous acquaintance with Belhelvie, as 
its sometime schoolmaster. He married 
Ann Black, and they had a family of two 
sons and a daughter — John, Andrew, and 
Isobel. Mr Ragg died 14th January, 
1766, and his wife survived till 10th 
August, 1786. 

The two following ministers are com- 
memorated by a massive tablestone within 
an enclosure. The end supports are in- 
scribed respectively — 


H. M. P. 

G. E. M. R. 



Interred here James Forsyth, minister of the 
parish, and his wife Isabella Syme. Also their 
children Alexander John, Walter, Elizabeth, 
Barbara, and Mary Margaret, wife of The Rev. 
Robert Scott. 

The tablestone itself bears — 

In memory of The Rev. Alexander John 
Forsyth, LL.D., for fifty-two years minister of 
this parish. He was born 28th December, 1768, 
and died 11th June, 1843. 

Rev. James Forsyth, M.A., who was a 



native of Clatt, was ordained to Belhelvie 
24th September, 1766, and died suddenly 
on 1st December, 1790. He married, 30th 
April, 1767, Isabella, youngest daughter 
of Rev. Walter Syme, minister of Tully- 
nessle (see Tullynessle), and the names of 
all their children are recorded in the above 
inscription. The youngest daughter. 
Mary Margaret, married Rev. Robert 
Scott, minister of Glenbucket. (See Glen- 

Rev. Alexander John Forsyth, M.A., 
was the elder son of the preceding, and was 
ordained 24th August, 1791. For the long 
period of fifty-two years he discharged, 
with marked ability and assiduity, the 
ministerial duties of the parish. He had 
a profound knowledge of chemistry, and 
rendered considerable service to the 
Government in the manufacture of gun- 
powder. His crowning success, however, 
was the discovery, about 1805, of the per- 
cussion cap. In 1807, he laid the details 
of his discovery before Government, 
and by request gave practical illustra- 
tions in the Tower of London of the 
advantages of the invention. Instead of 
receiving the reward which the valuable 
discovery merited, he was kept hanging 
on in Loudon till ordered by the Ordnance 
Department to "remove his rubbish" — 
" a brutal order which was at once com- 
plied with." After a lapse of many years, 
the Government agreed to make some 
acknowledgment, but, before the first in- 
stalment arrived, the clever and inventive 
brain had gone to sleep. He received the 
degree of LL.D. from King's College in 
1834. It may be added that the anvil on 
which he spent so many happy hours is 
still in the parish in the hands of Messrs 
A. and R. Rae, builders, Balmedie. 

The succeeding minister has, within an 
enclosure, a massive monument to his 

memory in the form of a cross, which is 
inscribed — 

This monument is erected by the Parishioners 
of Belhelvie to the memory of The Rev. William 
Thomson, M.A., for 44 years minister of the 

Born 15. June 1815. 
Died 11. Oct. 1887. 

Jane JVlacnaughton, wife of the said Rev. 
William Thomson, died 6th June. 1879, aged 62 
years. Their sons James H. Rose, died 7th 
May, 1875, aged 12 years. William, died 23 
January, 1889, aged 41 years. 

Rev. William Thomson was a native of 
Woodside, his father being connected with 
Grandholm Mills. He was for a time 
tutor in the family of Rev. Mr Grant, 
Nairn, and had under his tuition James 
Augustus Grant, afterwards well known as 
Lieutenant-Colonel J. A. Grant, C.B. He 
was at an after date a teacher in Gordon's 
Hospital, and thereafter parish school- 
master of Dyce and Belhelvie respectively. 
Being ordained minister of the parish, he 
fulfilled the duties with much acceptance 
and credit. Among his thirteen children 
were George, medical practitioner and 
coroner of Oldham, who died in Germany 
on 18th October, 1906, aged 62; Alex- 
ander, agent for the Town and County 
Bank (Ltd.), Harbour Branch, Aberdeen, 
who died on 10th August, 1897, aged 46 ; 
Harvey Abernethy, who died at Yokohama 
on loth February, 1906, aged 44; Theo- 
dore, for some time medical officer of 
health for the city of Aberdeen, now C.M.G. 
and one of the medical inspectors to the 
Local Government Board, London ; and 
Frederic Holland, medical superintendent 
of Gore Farm Hospital, Darenth. 

The present incumbent is Rev. Malcolm 
Tower Sorley, B.D., who was ordained to 
the charge on 12th April, 1888. 




Apart from the three parish ministers 
who had acted as schoolmasters, as already 
explained, the district has had many ex- 
cellent teachers. Among others, may be 
mentioned William Cheyne, who, on 8th 
November, 1635, was appointed school- 
master, reader, and session clerk. 

On 21st May, 1676, John Gordon, " Mr. 
of Arts," was appointed, he having obliged 
himself to furnish a substitute to teach 
music. (Session Records.) 

A tombstone records the death of a suc- 
ceeding teacher of the same name thus — 

John Gordon, Schoolmaster in Belhelvie, died 
15th Septr., 1805. aged 87. His spouse Elspet 
Ritchie died 22nd April, 1784, aged 53. Eliza- 
beth, their daughter, who died 24th April, 1832, 
aged 74. Annie, their daughter, who died lht 
May, 1839. aged 82. 

William Gordon, his son, who died 4th April. 
1850, aged 89. Also his spouse Elspet Hender- 
son, who died 20th Deer., 1836, aged 58. 

A tablestone bears the following in- 
scription — 

Sacred to the memory of Isabella Smith, 
youngest daughter of William Smith, and Mar- 
garet Milne, in Cowhill, and spouse to the Rev. 
Adam Smith, Schoolmaster of Belhelvie, who 
died on the 20th July, 1816, in the 19th year of 
her age. 

All you who have a soul to save, 
Extend your views beyond the grave ; 
And whilst Salvation is brought nigh, 
To Christ the Friend of sinners fly. 

Rev. Adam Smith was teacher for only 
a brief period, having, in 1819, been ap- 
pointed assistant minister at New Deer, 
and on 26th June, 1823, ordained minister 
of the parish of Towie. 

A railed-in headstone has the under- 
noted inscription — 

This stone is erected by friends as a mark of 
esteem to the memory of The Rev. Francis Hay, 
24 years Schoolmaster of Belhelvie, who died 
10th April, 1846, aged 58 years. Here also lie 

the remains of his infant son Alexander, who 
died 8th August, 1840, aged 1 year and 9 
months. Also his son Francis, who died 8th 
May, 1863, aged 23 years. Also of bis 
daughter Elizabeth M. S. Hay, who died 2nd 
April, 1887, aged 45 years. 

Abigael Macdonald, wife of The Rev. Francis 
Hay, who died 11th Oct., 1892, aged 89 years. 

Rev. Francis Hay, who was a native of 
Banff, graduated at King's College on 
31st March, 1815. He was held in high 
regard throughout the parish, as evidenced 
by the erection of the headstone to his 

William Scroggie acted for some time as 
assistant to Rev. Francis Hay, but he died 
in early manhood in the summer of 1844. 

The veteran teacher, however, was John 
Jack, son of Peter Jack, Lonmay. He 
graduated at King's College in March, 
1843, and in September, 1844, took office 
at Belhelvie, where for upwards of forty- 
eight years he discharged the duties with 
marked success. He retired on 12th 
January, 1893, and is now resident in 


The ancient Thanage of Belhelvie lay 
along the sea coast adjacent to that of 
Fermartyn, and as pointed out by Rev. 
Dr Temple (Thanage of Fermartyn, p. 
618), it corresponded in extent very much 
with the present parish. Of its early his- 
tory little authoritative information is 
available. In 1292, it was farmed by Sir 
Patrick de Berkelay, who on April of that 
year paid £12 12s to John de Gildforde, 
Castellar of Aberdeen. (Calendar of 
Documents Relating to Scotland, II., 
p. 140.) It is also recorded that the rents 
of the lands, with others, were assigned in 
security for payment of the dowry which 
Eric, King of Norway, had on Scotland, 
through his marriage with the Princess 
Margaret, daughter of Alexander III. 



Walter Berkelay, who was probably a 
son of the above Sir Patrick de Berkelay, 
secured a Crown charter to the Thanage 
from King Robert the Bruce. The same 
King confirmed to Hugh de Berkelay and 
to Elene, his spouse, the Thanage, with 
the office of serjand, also the can of the 
church lands of Balhelvy, extending to 
forty-pound land and rent as a free 
barony. (Antiq.. I., p. 287.) A forty- 
pound land equalled 2080 acres Scotch, 
and this confirmation is particularly inter- 
esting as showing how wealthy the church 
of Belhelvio woxild now have been had it 
been permitted to retain its early pos- 

About 1340, Sir William de Fodringhay 
had a grant to the same lands from David 
II., and in 1379 Alexander Stewart, Lord 
of Badenoch, son of Robert II., had a 
Crown charter to them. 

In 1400, John Fraser of Forglen was pro- 
prietor, and within a century thereafter 
Lord Glamis was in possession. In 1596, 
Patrick, Lord Glamis, was served heir of 
Patrick, Earl of Kinghorn, Lord Lyon 
and Glamis, in the same lands and barony, 
with others. (Retours.) They remained in 
the possession of the Glamis and Kinghorn 
family till purchased by Patrick Maule of 
Panmure, who, in 1646, was raised to the 
peerage under the title of Earl of Pan- 
mure with the secondary title of Baron 
Maule of Brechin and Navar, the latter 
being given from the lordship of that name 
which he had acquired, through purchase, 
from the Earl of Mar. He was a warm 
adherent of the cause of Charles I., and 
was fined in a heavy sum by Cromwell. 
He died on 22nd December, 1661. 

The ownership of the lands continued in 
the Panmure family till the time of James, 
the fourth earl, who, from the prominent 
part he took in the rising of 1715, was 
attainted, with forfeiture of all his ex- 

tensive estates. (Registrum de Panmure, 

The Panmure estates, including the 
lands and barony of Belhelvie, were pur- 
chased by the York Buildings Company 
for £60,400, which was under twenty years' 
purchase of the rental. The company 
afterwards became embarrassed, and in 
1782 the Belhelvie lands were sold in six- 
teen different portions, the particulars of 
several of which follow under separate 

About 1780, Hary Lumsden, advocate, 
Aberdeen, purchased the portion which 
bore the title of " Belhelvie." He mar- 
ried Catherine, daughter of Hugh 
M'Veagh, manufacturer, Huntly, and 
died on 20th February, 1833, in his 80th 
year, survived by his wife, who died on 
11th March, 1843, aged 87. Of their five 
soils, Hugh — who was an advocate, and 
for some time Sheriff-Depute of Suther- 
landshire — became laird of Pitcaple ; 
Henry became proprietor of Tilwhilly, 
and afterwards of Auchindoir and Clova ; 
Clements was a Writer to the Signet and 
an advocate in Aberdeen; and William 
James became laird of Balmedie. 

Mr Lumsden was succeeded in the pro- 
perty of Belhelvie by his third son, 
Thomas, who entered the army, saw much 
service in India, attained the rank of 
colonel, and had the Order of C.B. con- 
ferred upon him. He and his wife and 
daughter are commemorated by a monu- 
ment within an enclosure in the parish 
graveyard — 

Sacred to the memory of Hay, daughter of 
Peter Burnet of Elrick, and wife of Colonel 
Thomas Lumsden, C.B., of Belhelvie, who died 
at Belhelvie Lodge, October 11, 1873, aged 74. 

Clementina Jane Lumsden died 8th Novem- 
ber. 1895. 

On the reverse side — 

Sacred to the memory of Colonel Thomas 
Lumsden. C.B., of Belhelvie, who died at Bel- 
helvie Lodge, December 8, 1874, aged 85. 



Of the family of Colonel Lumsden, two 
sons attained high rank. Of these, 
Lieutenant-General Sir Harry Burnett 
Lumsden, of the Guides, is commemorated 
by a cross within the same enclosure, which 
bears the inscription — 

To the dear memory of Lt. -General Sir 
Harry B. Lumsden, K.C.S.I., C.B. Born 12th 
November, 1821 ; died at Belhelvie Lodge, 12th 
August, 1896. 

The other son referred to is Sir Peter 
Stark Lumsden, G.C.B., C.S.I., who is now 
retired, and is resident at his estate of 
Buchromb, near Dufftown. Both distin- 
guished themselves in connection with the 
Indian Mutiny and in political missions 
to Kandahar and Afghanistan. 

The eldest sister of these officers — Helen 
Garden — married Rev. James Johnstone, 
minister of the United Free Church, Bel- 
helvie, and died loth September, 1903. 


In 1784, Dr Arthur Dingwall Fordyce of 
Culsh purchased from the York Buildings 
Company the lands of Balmedie, alono; 
with those of Eggie. After his death in 
1834, the properties were sold to William 
James Lumsden, fourth son of Hary 
Lumsden, advocate, Aberdeen, who had 
acquired a fortune in the Bombay Civil 
Service, in which for a time he had acted 
as a judge. He also purchased the pro- 
perties of Xewtyle in Foveran, Balthangie 
in Monquhitter, and Courtestown or John- 
ston in Leslie. He married — (1) Mar- 
garet, daughter of Viscount Arbuthnott, 
who died 4th March, 1845; (2) Mary 
Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Matthew 
Thompson, J. P., D.L., of Manningham 
Lodge, Yorkshire, who died at Kensing- 
ton 15th April, 1863, aged 42; and (3) 
Williamina Stewart, daughter of Lieut. - 
Colonel James John Forbes Leith of 
Whitehaugh. By the second marriage 
there was a family of two sons and three 

daughters. Of these, the second son, 
George Gordon, died in youth. Of the 
daughters, Agnes Peile, married Captain 
Boyle, R.N., and Mary married William 
Campbell Colquhoun of Clathick, Perth- 
shire. The remaining daughter was 
Catherine Elizabeth. (Temple's " Than- 
age," p. 631.) Mr Lumsden died on 14th 
October, 1875, aged 81. 

In a large reserved space within the area 
of the old church are two white marble 
crosses to the memory of the succeeding 
proprietor and that of one of his 
daughters — 


William Harry Lumsden, Esquire, of Bal- 
medie. Born 6th May, 1852; died 7th Feb- 
ruary. 1900. 

Peace, perfect peace. 

Sybil Kathleen Lumsden. Born 2nd Novem- 
ber! 1888. Died 10th February, 1889. 

"Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven." 

The above William Harry Lumsden suc- 
ceeded to the various estates on the death 
of his father on 14th October, 1875. He 
was highly esteemed, not only by his ten- 
antry for his generosity as a landlord, 
but by a wide circle of friends in the north- 
eastern counties for his sterling character 
and unpretentious manner. On 14th 
June, 1877, he married Elizabeth Lauder- 
dale, daughter of Colonel Renny Tailyour 
of Borrowfield, near Montrose, by whom 
and a family of five sens and one daughter 
lie was survived. 


The first proprietor of Blairton of whom 
record exists was probably John de Bone- 
ville, who had charters to the lands (with 
others) from Robert the Bruce. (Robert- 
son's Index, p. 17.) He was Sheriff of 
Aberdeen in 1329. (Exchq. Rolls, I., p. 
210.) Shortly afterwards, John Fraser of 
Forglen is named a« owner, and subse- 



quently Andrew Wood. By the middle 
of the sixteenth century, the lands had 
become the property of the incumbent of 
the parish. (Antiq., I., p. 120.) They 
were afterwards sold by way of feu, and a 
family named Gardyn became proprietors. 
Jn 1592-3, Thomas Gardyn of Blairton was 
Commissary Clerk of Aberdeen, at which 
time security was granted for William Ury 
of Pitfichie that he and others would not 
harm Gardyn. (Privy Council Register, 
V., p. 45.) He married Isobel Stewart, 
and on his death, in February, 1610, was 
succeeded by their son Robert, whose ser- 
vice included Blairton and the rectory of 
Belhelvie, etc. (Retours.) On 22nd 
October, 1631, Robert Gardyn, some time 
Sheriff Depute of Inverness, and heir to 
Blairton, sold the lands of Loch-hills, with 
the loch, etc., on the west side of Old Aber- 
deen, to the masters and members of 
King's College. (Fasti Aberdonenses, 
p. 144.) Robert Gardyn married Elspet 
Rutherford, daughter of Alexander Ruther- 
ford of Rubislaw. 

An ancient monument of very fine work- 
manship was originally batted to the outer 
wall of the aisle on the south side of the 
old church. The aisle is almost wholly re- 
moved, but the monument still stands. 
For nearly a century the ornamentation 
and lettering have been in a worn con- 
dition, rend« *ing the deciphering of the 
inscription al nost a puzzle. By the aid of 
several old MSS., including those of Logan 
and Jervise, the following particulars are 

At the top in high relief is a sand-glass 
held in the middle by extended wings, 
below which is a scroll with the word, 
'• Irrevocable." Immediately underneath 
is a shield of arms showing — Argent a fess 
between three mullets, azure ; crest, a 
primrose proper, and thereupon a bee suck- 
ing the same, on an esquire's helmet, with 
mantling. The motto is in Latin, which 

in English reads, " Labour is Sweet." The 
principal inscription is also in Latin. In 
English it is — 

Mr Alexander Innes of Blairton, a descen- 
dant of the ancient family of Innes of Benwell, 
spent his youth in mercantile pursuits abroad, 
and in the management of the affairs of cer- 
tain relatives at home. But being grievously 
afflicted with calculus, he early retired from 
the world — devoting himself to a life of piety — 
and, after a career marked by the highest in- 
tegrity, uprightness, and prudence, his mortal 
remains were deposited here in faith and hope 
by his widow, Agnes Johnstone, the loving wife 
of a loving husband. He left . . sons and 
an only daughter. 

This monument was erected to the memory of 
an excellent and worthy father by his eldest 
son and heir, Robert Innes. 

He died 2nd April, 1679, in his 64th year. 

Inscribed scrolls surround the chief in- 
scription, but their worn condition pre- 
cludes the giving of the translations, and 
no record of them appears in any volume 
or MS. 

Mr Innes, besides considerable moveable 
estate, left his widow the life rent of Hope- 
hill, at which, in 1696, she was resident 
in family with her son, Patrick, who polled 
" as ane gentellman." 

The eldest son, Robert, who erected the 
above monument, was a Writer to the 
Signet and Lyon Clerk. He traced the 
descent of the family from the Inneses of 
Innermarkie and Ardtannes. 

Before 1684, Blairton was acquired by 
James Milne, merchant, burgess of Aber- 
deen, son of James Milne, also a merchant 
and burgess of Aberdeen, and of his wife, 
Elspet Donaldson. Mr Milne, senior, and 
his wife were both dead before 1st June, 
1685, when the laird of Blairton had to 
make the disappointing communication to 
the town of Aberdeen that, owing to his 
mother having " left many more legacies 
than her moveable estate and fortune did 
extend to," he was unable to hand over 
more than 2800 merks Scots money (£155 



lis Id stg.), instead of 4000 merks as be- 
queathed for beli oof of three widows and 
three orphans within the burgh. (Aber- 
deen Mortif. Book.) In 1697, Mr Milne 
was Dean of Guild of the city. He died 
19th March, 1712, aged 56. Of his 
daughters, Janet, married, on 16th Febru- 
ary, 1714, Rev. Henry Likly, parish 
minister of Meldrum ; and Margaret, on 
8th August, 1716, married Alexander 
Gordon, Commissary Clerk Depute of 

Subsequently, the estate was in the 
hands of Alexander Walker, a prominent 
agriculturist, who farmed Auquhirie, Dun- 
nottar, in which and in Blairton he was 
succeeded by his son, John, who died in 
1812. (Baron Court Book of Urie, pp. 
160-1.) The last-named was succeeded by 
two daughters as heirs portioners, and the 
estate remained till recently the property 
of the Walker family. It is now owned 
by the family of Lumsden of Balmedie. 


The lands of Overblairton and Colpnay 
were adjoining lands in the parish which 
came to be held by two different branches 
of the Wood family towards the end of the 
fifteenth century. Overblairton comprised 
one part of the lands of Colpnay in contra- 
distinction to the lands of Little Colpnay, 
owned by the Woods of Fynnersie and 

I. Andrew Wod was proprietor of Over- 
blairton in 1487. His name is brought into 
prominence through his having succeeded, 
in 1493, in securing a charter from James 
IV. to the Castlehill of Aberdeen and also 
the "Stoketwod." This grant led the 
civic authorities of Aberdeen to take 
action, with the result that in the follow- 
ing year a decree of Council was passed 
abrogating the grant to Wod, and declar- 

ing the town's claim to be valid. (Antiq., 
III., 212-14.) This Andrew Wod was the 
founder of the family of Wood of Balbegno, 
and on 10th March, 1498-9, he obtained a 
Crown grant of the lands and thanages of 
Fettercairn and Aberluthnot, which had 
been held by him in tack. His son 

II. John Wod of " Bawbegno " granted, 
in 1539, to King's College, an annual rent 
of four pounds Scots from his lands of 
" Uverblairtoun or Colpno," in warrandice 
of an annual rent of like amount of which 
he had been in right out of the lands of 
Watterton, Easter Ellon, etc. (Fasti Aber- 
donenses, p. 112.) John Wod married 
Elizabeth (sometimes named Isobel) Irvine, 
daughter of Alexander Irvine of Drum. 
Their eldest son was 

III. Walter Wood of Fettercairn, Bal- 
begno, and Overblairton, who died circa 
1600, and was succeeded by his eldest son 

IV. Walter Wood of Fettercairn, Bal- 
begno, and Overblairton, who died in 1607. 
His eldest son was 

V. Sir John Wood of Fettercairn, who, 
in 1615, with the consent of his wife, Lady 
Jean Lindsay, and of his mother, Isobel 
Forbes, sold Overblairton and his other 
lands in Belhelvie to George Gordon of 
Coclarachie for 32,400 merks Scots. 

The first Wood of Little Colpnay or, as 
the family was generally designated, of 
Colpnay, was 

I. John Wod of Fynnersie, who was pre- 
deceased before 1510 by his eldest son 
. . . Wod, and was succeeded by his 

II. Andrew Wod of Fynnersie and Colp- 
nay, who died in 1558. His eldest son was 

III. John Wod of Colpnay, who was 
absent from Scotland at the time of his 
father's death. Walter Wod, his brother, 
deeming on account of his brother's long 
absence that he was dead, served as heir to 
his father, and took possession of the lands 



of which, however, on his brother's return, 
he had to denude himself. John Wod of 
Colpnay met a violent death, for which, 
upon 12th October, 1565, Alexander Lyon, 
burgees of Aberdeen, and his wife, Mariorie 
Urquhart, were put upon trial. (Pitcairn's 
Criminal Trials, I., p. 470.) He was suc- 
ceeded by his eldest son 

IV. Alexander Wod of Colpnay, who was 
a minor at his father's death. He died in 
June, 1614. His eldest son was 

V. William Wod of Colpnay. Margaret 
Wod, his daughter, was one of the " sus- 
pectit personis to be either airt and pairt 
or on the counsell ' ' of the burning of Fren- 
draught. For this she was apprehended, 
lodged in Edinburgh Prison, and examined 
by the Lords of Council, but denying every- 
thing, was subjected to the torture of the 
boot. Subsequently for her " manifold for- 
geries, perjuries, and lees" she was tried, 
found guilty, scourged, and banished. 
(Spalding's Trubles, I., p. 19-20.) William 
Wod granted a number of mortgages over 
Colpnay, which at his death 

VI. John Wod, his eldest son, found 
himself encumbered with, and was unable 
to liquidate. It was left to his brother 
George to pay off the incumbrances on the 
lands, in respect of which John Wood was 
a consenter to the disposition of the estate 
in favour of his brother. 

VII. George Wood of Colpnay acquired 
the lands in 1643. In 1649, Gilian Wilkie, 
wife of George Wood of Colpnay, petitioned 
Parliament for aid, narrating "her own 
and her husband's sad sufferings, to the 
utter ruin of both, by the enemies of this 
Kingdom." Colpnay finally passed out of 
the possession of the Woods in 1653. 

Mr James M. A. Wood, solicitor, 
Aberdeen, obligingly furnished these 

North Colpnay was acquired by a family 
named Stewart, while South Colpnay was 

bought by a branch of the Leslie family. 
(Particulars respecting these families and 
other proprietors who held the properties 
for brief periods will be found in Temple's 
"Thanage," p. 696.) 

In 1754-55, William Mowat of Colpnay, 
merchant in Aberdeen, was Provost of the 
city. He married Jean, daughter of 
Principal Osborne, of Marischal College, 
and they had a family of three sons — 
William, John, and Andrew. (Munro's 
Provosts, pp. 236-7.) 

Subsequently, John Orrok — who is 
understood to have been at one time a 
captain in the merchant service — bought 
both North and South Colpnay, and there- 
upon gave them the new title of Orrock, 
in memory of the estate of that name in 
Fifeshire which had belonged to his fore- 
bears. In September, 1780, he married 
Sarah, second daughter of John Dingwall 
of Rannieston, one of the magistrates of 
Aberdeen, and they had a family of several 
sons. Mr Orrok died in 1796, when he 
was succeeded by his eldest son Walter. 

John Orrok, younger, brother of the 
preceding, succeeded. Particulars respect- 
ing him are given in the following inscrip- 
tion on a marble tablet in the inner side 
of the gable of the old church- 
Sacred to the memory of John Orrok of 
Orrock, captain in the Hon. E. I. C, 17th Regi- 
ment, No. 1, second son of John Orrok, Esq., of 
Orrock and Sarah Dingwall of Rainiston, his 
wife. Ho had retired upon half-pay, was 
married August 2, 1823, to Mary, daughter of 
the late James Cockburn, Esq., of Lime Street 
Square, London, and died suddenly by the 
rupture of a blood vessel in the head on the 
6th of October, 1823, in the 40th year of hiis age. 
His mortal remains are interred here. This 
monument is erected by his widow as a testi- 
mony of her affection. 

Wemyss Orrok, the younger brother of 
the preceding, was served heir in 1824. 
(Retoure, etc.) 

The estate was acquired through pur- 



chase in 1880 by Robert Stewart Walker, 
who died on 22nd April, 1889, aged 70. It 
is now in the possession of Mr Baird'e 


In the middle of the eighteenth century 
the estate of Ardo was acquired by John 
Dingwall of Rannieston, fourth son of 
Arthur Dingwall of Brownhill and of Sarah 
Murray, his wife. He was a successful 
stocking merchant in Aberdeen, and for 
some time one of its magistrates. By his 
first wife Mary, daughter of Rev. James 
Lumsden of Corrachree, minister of Towie, 
he had ten sons and six daughters. 

Arthur, the eldest son, succeeded, at 
whose death, without issue, John Ding- 
wall, his immediate younger brother, suc- 
ceeded to both estates. He was Provost 
of Aberdeen from 1799 to 1801. He was 
three times married — (1) to a daughter of 
George Willox, one of the magistrates of 
Old Aberdeen ; (2) to Catherine Jane Moir, 
daughter of Rev. William Moir, minister 
of the parish of Fyvie ; and (3) to Ann 
Taylor, who survived him. There were no 
children by any of these marriages. Mr 
Dingwall died on 29th March, 1836, when 
the property passed to his younger brother 
Alexander, who was for a lengthened 
period postmaster of Aberdeen. (Family 
Record of Dingwall Fordyce.) 

In March, 1838, the lands were purchased 
by Peter Harvey, farmer, Danestone, son 
of Alexander Harvey, Mains of Grandholm 
— a descendant of the family of Harvey. 
(See New Machar, etc.) He married his 
cousin Susan, daughter of William Harvey, 
Monvcabock, and died 16th September, 
1866, aged 90, survived by his wife, who 
died 21st May, 1879, aged 91. Of their 
family, Alexander was designed as 
' ' younger of Ardo ' ' ; William, who was 
in Middlemuir, and was well known as 
an elder and session clerk of Belhelvie, 
died 12th August, 1901, aged 82: and 

James died 24th April, 1880, aged 46. 
There were also six daughters — Jane, 
Barbara, Susan, Ann, Christian, and 
Catherine. (Tombstones at Old Machar.) 
Alexander Harvey, "younger of Ardo," 
married Agnes, daughter of James Aber- 
nethy, Ferryhill, Aberdeen, and died 27th 
March, 1859, aged 44, survived by his wife, 
who died 15th May, 1888, aged 73. They 
had a family of three sons — Alexander, 
Peter, and Peter James — and six daughters 
— Anne, Susan, Susan Abernethy, Agnes 
Jane, Catherine, .and Barbara Stephen. 
All the sons died young, and of the 
daughters, Anne died on 30th July, 1880, 
aged 38 ; and Susan Abernethy is married 
to Rev. John S. Loutit, minister of Foveran. 
(See Foveran.) The estate is now held 
in trust for behoof of Mns Loutit and her 
two surviving sisters, Agnes Jane and 


King Robert the Bruce granted two 
charters in favour of John de Boneville 
of the lands of Many and Blairton. 
(Robertson's Index, p. 17.) In 1379, the 
Boneville family disposed of Many to 
William de Camera or Chalmers, burgess 
of Aberdeen, and to Elizabeth, his wife. 
Chalmers, who was laird of Findon and 
tenant for life of the barony of Murtle, 
was Alderman of Aberdeen in 1398, and 
he and his successors played a conspicuous 
part in the affairs of the city for a length- 
ened period. 

In 1435, Richard Vaus, grandson of the 
above William de Camera, had a Crown 
grant to the lands of Many. (Antiq., III., 
p. 336.) He was piobably the son of John 
Vaus, who was Provost of Aberdeen on 
several occasions between 1420 and 1445. 
(Munro's Provosts, etc., p. 31.) Richard 
Vaus is commemorated through having, in 
1469, granted to the Franciscan or Grey 
Friars his property in Broad Street for 




their monastery. He is referred to in the 
obituary of the Order as " a man of pious 
memory, Richard Vaus, laird of Many, 
... He died 1478." 

There were several proprietors who bore 
the surname of Vans, of whom John Vaus, 
on 6th June, 1537, had a respite for six 
months for complicity in the slaughter of 
James Lyon, mutilation of Alexander 
Rutherford, one of the baillies of Aber- 
deen, and deforcing of the magistrates of 
Aberdeen. On 9th December following, 
Vaus had a remission for all offences ex- 
cept that of treason. (Pitcairn's Crim. 
Trials, I., pp. 250-51.) On 25th January. 
1556, he granted, subject to his own life 
rent, the lands of Many and others to his 
daughter Margaret and her husband, John 
Carnegie, son of Robert Carnegie of Kin- 
naird. The estate ultimately passed to 
David, Lord Carnegie, who sold it to 
William Forbes, then designed as mer- 
chant in Edinburgh, and brother of Rev. 
Patrick Forbes of Corse, Bishop of Aber- 
deen. (See Fintray.) 

On 30th July, 1618, a Crown grant was 
made in favour of George Gordon, sixth 
laird of Gight, and his second wife, Jean 
Abernethy, erecting into a free barony the 
lands of Many, consisting of "Lyntoun, 
Cothill, Cowhill, and Altersait." (Great 
Seal Register.) 

Within twelve years, William Seton of 
Udny and Marjory Innes, his wife, pur- 
chased the estate for 40,000 merks. Seton 
had considerable influence in the district. 
Along with Alexander Innes, chamberlain 
of Belhelvie, he acted as a " justitiar," 
according to Act of Parliament, ' ' for 
taking order and inflicting censure 
upon delinquents convict before the 
kirk-session." Unfortunately, he was 
worried by financial troubles, and in 
1659 Sir Robert Graham of Morphie, a 
heavy creditor, stepped in and mortgaged 
the lands of Many to Robert Kerr, burgess 

of Aberdeen, and the Collector of Assess- 
ments for the County of Aberdeen. Kerr 
foreclosed and became proprietor. He 
died on 4th February, 1669. In 1678, 
Alexander Kerr, the second son, was 
served heir to the lands, holding in chief 
of Graham of Morphie in free-blench farm 
for yearly payment of one penny Scots. 
(Antiq., III., pp. 336-7.) This proprietor 
was impressed with the importance of 
his position, and he determined that 
only one of wealth and power should 
be permitted to aspire to the hand of his 
daughter Susanna! The young lady, who 
was both accomplished and of considerable 
beauty, fell in love with John Montford. 
an Excise officer, who, in March, 1729, 
took the necessary steps for proclamation 
of the banns of marriage. Mr Kerr de- 
clared before the church courts his dis- 
satisfaction " with such a match," and 
proceedings were accordingly sisted. The 
old registers disclose nothiug as to the fate 
of poor Susanna, but the likelihood is that 
she had been removed to another district, 
where possibly a lover more acceptable to 
her parents had turned up. An elder 
sister, Elizabeth, married Peter Smith of 

The next proprietor was George Turner, 
son of Robert Turner of Turnerhall and 
Tippertie. By profession he was an 
advocate, and for some time held the ap- 
pointment of Sheriff Clerk of Aberdeen- 
shire. He married (1) Margaret (died 
December, 1745, in her 32nd year), 
daughter of John Gordon, M.D., of Pit- 
lurg, and they had a family of two sons 
and two daughters. (Temple's Thanage, 
p. 639.) He married (2) Margaret Cat- 
tanach, and died 20th December, 1772. 
his widow surviving till 2nd April, 1778. 
(" Aberdeen Journal.") 

Robert Turner, son of the preceding, 
succeeded (died 29th May, 1809, aged 67). 
He married Euphemia, daughter of David 



Simpson of Hazelhead ; and of their family 
George died in infancy. John, Robert, 
William, and Alexander all entered the 
service of the Honourable East India 
Company. Of these four, the two first 
mentioned died in India, William died in 
battle, and Alexander died of wounds re- 
ceived in battle. Of the daughters, Eu- 
phemia. in 1796, married Thomas Buchan 
of Auchmacoy, and had a family of 
six sons and three daughters. (MS. by 
Lord Caithness.) She died at Edinburgh 
on 22nd December, 1832. A second 
daughter was Margaret Cattanach, who 
died 12th February, 1824, aged 49; while 
the youngest one is commemorated by an 
inscription upon an obelisk within an en- 
closure in the parish graveyard thus — 

To the memory of Rachel, third daughter of 
the late Robert Turner, Esq. of Menie, who 
died at Aberdeen on 7th January, 1847. 

The same obelisk records the death of 
the succeeding proprietor and of two 
members of his family as follows — 

Sacred to the memory of General Sir George 
Turner, K.C.B., of Menie, Col. Commandant 
12th Brigade Royal Artillery. Born March 22, 
1780. Died December 9, 1864. 

Also to the memory of George Robert, infant 
eon of the above, died May, 1827. 

Also to the memory of Helen Catherine 
Turner, third daughter of the above. Born 
3rd April, 1828 ; died 3rd March, 1891. . . . 

General Sir George Turner was the third 
son of Robert Turner. Adopting the pro- 
fession of arms, he served during the 
rebellion in Ireland in 1798, at the cap- 
ture of the Cape of Good Hope in 1806, 
and during a portion of the Peninsular 
War, taking part, besides other actions, in 
those of Orthes and Toulouse. He was 
made Lieut. -Colonel in 1828, C.B. in 1831, 
K.C.B. in 1862, and General in 1863. He 
married Margaret, daughter of John 
Ramsay of Barra, and, besides the son and 
daughter named in the inscription, they 

had three other daughters — Mary 
Euphemia, Margaret, and Robina Rachel. 
The last-named is now proprietrix of the 


This property was purchased from the 
York Buildings Company, about 1770, by 
Francis Logie, merchant, Aberdeen, who 
re-sold it in August, 1782, to James Reid, 
merchant, Gardenstown. By him it was 
bequeathed to his nephew, Peter Reid, son 
of his brother, John Reid, Fortrie. 

Peter Reid married Ann Lumsden, sister 
of Hary Lumsden of Belhelvie, and 
daughter of John Lumsden, Boghead, 
Kintore, son of Alexander Lumsden, and 
grandson of William Lumsden in Tita- 
boutie, who was fifth son of Alexander 
Lumsden of Clova and Cushnie. 

A railed-in enclosure contains a table- 
stone and headstone, which are inscribed 
respectively — 


To the memory of Peter Reid, some time 
farmer in Muirton, who departed this life 10th 
May, 1795, aged 28 years. Also of Ann 
Lumsden, his spouse, who died 21st December, 
1836, aged 75 years. 

Erected by James Reid of Mourtown in 
memory of his children, Harry L., who died 4th 
January, 1827, aged 2 years. Also Harry L., 
who died 9th June, 1846, aged 18 years. Also 
John, farmer in Myretown, Insch, who died 
18th June, 1862, aged 42 years. Also the said 
James Reid of Muirtown, who died 6th August, 
1862, aged 70 years. Also his spouse, Jessie 
Gray, who died 4th April, 1866, aged 75 years. 
Also Peter, eldest son of James Reid, who died 
at Muirton, 17th April, 1874, aged 63 years. 

The first inscription commemorates 
Peter Reid and his wife already referred 
to, while the second is to his only son, 
James Reid, who succeeded. He married 
Jessie Gray, who belonged to Fintray, and 
they had a large family, of whom the 
names of four are recorded as above. 




The second son of the above James Reid 
was James Reid, who graduated M.D. at 
King's College ; n 1848, and settled at 
Ellon, where he had a large practice. He 
married Beatrice Peter, Canterland ; and 
of their two sons, the elder is Sir James 
Reid, Bart., G.C.V.O., K.C.B., M.D., 
LL.D., who was the trusted physician to 
Her Majesty the late Queen Victoria. He 
is now physician to His Majesty King 
Edward. In 1899, he married one of 
Her Majesty Queen Victoria's Maids of 
Honour — the Hon. Susan Baring, daughter 
of the first Lord Revelstoke ; and they have 
a family of two sons and one daughter — 
Edward James, horn 20th April, 1901 ; 
John Peter Lome, born 10th January, 
1903 ; and Margaret Cecilia, born 25th 
December, 1904. 

In 1877, the property was sold to Alex- 
ander Sim, and is now held by his repre- 


Early in the seventeenth century, the 
lands of Pettens belonged to George Gor- 
don of Coclarachie, and his wife, Grissell 
Seton. They sold them in 1643 for 16,224 
merks to George Davidson, elder, burgess 
of Aberdeen. 

Poorly educated and unable to write, 
Davidson followed the calling of a " chap- 
man " or hawker, and, although the phil- 
anthropic instincts which he afterwards 
manifested were early stirred by seeing a 
man drowned in the burn at Bucksburn, 
all that he was then able to accomplish was 
to vow "to build a bridge over that burn 
if the Lord enabled him to do it." Suc- 
cess crowned his efforts in no ordinary de- 
gree, and, besides acquiring wealth in coin, 
he became proprietor of Pettens, "Westburn, 
Bogf airly, and Kepplehills in the parish 
of Newhills. A handsome tomb to his 
memory in St Nicholas Churchyard records 
that he was " truly notable for the in- 

tegrity of his life and profuse liberality 
towards the poor " ; that " beside many 
donations for the perpetual help of the poor 
and public uses," he "caused the Bridge 
of Inch to be repaired, and the Bridge of 
Buxburne to be built of a not inelegant 
structure " ; that " he gifted to the Church 
of Aberdeen the lands of Pettens and Bog- 
fairly, with certain sums of money, for 
the perpetual use of a preacher of God's 
word there " ; that " he also caused to be 
built the church of Newhill," and that 
" he dedicated and mortified the said 
lands of Newhills also, for the mainten- 
ance of the preachers of the Gospel there- 
at — a rare example. He died in the year 
1663." In 1650, he built a substantial wall 
around the Churchyard of Footdee, as evi- 
denced by a small tablet fixed into the 
inner side and still tc be seen there. The 
inscription is — 

George Davidsone, Elder, 


EXPENSES. 1650. 

Underneath is a coat of arms flanked by 
the initials " G. D." The title "Elder" 
was applied to Davidson to distinguish 
him from a younger brother also named 
George, it being customary in those days 
to give the same name to more than one 
member of a family. 

The property of Pettens, etc., as thus 
mortified by Davidson, remained in the 
possession of the town of Aberdeen till 
1756, when a portion was feued and the 
balance sold. 

Miss Turner of Menie is the present pro- 

(See Row's "Diary," "Antiquities," 
" Aberdeen Mortif . Book," Morgan's 
"Annals," and "Scottish Notes and 
Queries" for November and December, 
1888, and October, 1893.) 




The estate of Potterton was purchased 
from the York Buildings Company by 
James Harvey, eldest son of Alexander 
Harvey, Mains of Grandholm, and grand- 
son of James Harvey, Seat on. Bridge of 
Don. He died on 23rd December, 1838, 
aged 71, leaving the property to his grand- 
son, James Harvey, but subject to the life- 
rent of his mother, Margaret Harvey, who 
was a daughter of the testator. This lady 
married Rev. John Allan, for some time 
minister of Union Free Church, Aberdeen, 
and died 4th February, 1878, aged 78 
years. Mr Allan, unfortunately, had to 
retire from the ministry owing to an affec- 
tion of the throat. He was the author of 
''The Lentiad," besides other satirical 
poems, particulars of which are given in 
Walker's "Bards of Bon-Accord," p. 660. 

James Harvey of Potterton died 15th 
January, 1870, aged 46. (Tombstone in 
St Peter's.) 

The estate was sold to Thomas Clapper- 
ton, Fochabers, and is now held by his 
representat ives . 


A split tablestone now lying level with 
the ground bears a Latin inscription, 
which, in English, is — 

Under this mound is buried the body of Mr 
William Duncan. Professor of Philosophy in 
Mari6chal College, whom — accomplished in 
literature, of blameless morals, his friends 
mourning for him, all regretting him— cruel 
death, in a sudden tempest, carried off on the 
1st day of May, 1760, in the 45th year of his 

Professor William Duncan was a son of 
William Duncan, Artrochie. Having 
graduated M.A. in 1735, he attended 
divinity classes with the object of entering 
the Church. He changed his mind, how- 
ever, and became a professional author. 
He wrote many works, including " Logic," 

"Discourse on Roman Art of War," and 
several translations from Latin and 
French. (Scottish Register.) While visit- 
ing his old friend, Rev. Thomas Ragg, at 
the Manse of Belhelvie, he went to bathe 
in the sea on the morning of 1st May, 1760, 
and unfortunately was carried beyond his 
depth and drowned. 

A headstone at a railed-in grave is 
inscribed — 

Erected by James Lorimer, bootmaker, Aber- 
deen, in memory of his mother, Elizabeth 
Harvie, who died 20th June, 1841, aged 58 
years. Also of hi® father, John Lorimer, who 
died 13th January, 1849, aged 67 years. Also to 
the memory of two of his children, who died in 
infancy. And his son Alexander, who died 
9th February, 1867, aged 18 years. 

Here also are interred the remains of the said 
James Lorimer, bootmaker, Aberdeen, who 
died 8th September, 1890, aged 76 years. 

James Lorimer, who erected the above 
headstone, was a well-known citizen of 
Aberdeen. He was father of James 
Lorimer, one of the present magistrates 
of Aberdeen. 


On an old and considerably broken table- 
stone is — 

Here lyes the body of Gilbert Innes, sometime 
in Rora, who died 29bh May, 1755, aged 83. A 
man of true virtue and piety. Also the body 
of Isobel Innes, his eldest daughter, spouse to 
Thos. Simpson in DaraJiill, who died in July, 
1748, aged 43. Also the body of Jean Fraser, 
the widow of the said Gilbert Lines. She died 
26th January, 1769, aged 93. Also the body of 
the said Thomas Simpson, who died 12th 
November, 1784, aged 88. 

Elspet Simpson, daughter of the above 
Thomas Simpson, and niece of George 
Innes of Stow, married, in 1763, Alexander 
Mitchell, son of Alexander Mitchell, farmer 
in Tillycorthie. Alexander Mitchell, jun., 
succeeded his father-in-law in the farm of 
Darrahill. He had a son, William, J. P. 



and D.L., of Parsons Green, and of the 
Royal Bank of Scotland, Edinburgh, who 
succeeded to the moveable property of his 
relative, Miss Innes of Stow, estimated as 
worth upwards of one million pounds. He 
assumed the additional surname and arms 
of Innes, and was the first of the Mitchell- 
Innes family of Ayton and Whitehall, Ber- 
wickshire. (A. J. Mitchell-Gill's " Houses 
of Moir and Byres," p. 20.) His elder 
brother, Thomas Mitchell, was a farmer 
at Hill of Udny, and he had a son who is 
commemorated by a marble tablet in the 
inner side of the gable of the old church. 
It is inscribed as follows — 

In the adjoining churchyard are interred the 
mortal remains of Alexander Mitchell, late 
cashier of the Aberdeen Town and County Bank. 
He was the son of Thomas Mitchell, sometime 
in the parish of Udny, was born 12th December, 
1798, married 14th September, 1829, Jane, only- 
daughter of J. Gardiner, of the parish of 
Rhynie, and died 30th October, 1834, leaving 
two infant sons, and a widow who records this 
testimony to the memory of a husband amiable 
and estimable in every relation of life. 

Alexander Mitchell married Jane, 
daughter of John Gardiner, farmer, 
Smithston, Rhynie; and of the two sons 
referred to in the inscription the elder, 
Alexander, after protracted and expensive 
litigation, succeeded to the estate of Stow, 
near Edinburgh. His widow, Fanny 
Georgiana Jane, daughter of Richard 
Hasler, of Aldingbourne, Sussex, became 
proprietrix of the estate, and afterwards 
married Lord Reay, of Reay, Caithness. 


Two tablestones alongside each other 
are inscribed respectively — 

In memory of Barbara Lumsden, eldest 
daughter of John Lumsden, farmer in Overhill, 
who died on the 17th December, 1794, aged 18 
years. Isabel Simpson, wife of John Lumsden, 

farmer in Overhill, died 17th May, 1807, aged 
56 years. John Lumsden, son of John Lumsden, 
farmer, Eggie, died in infancy. John Lumsden, 
late farmer in Overhill, who died 7th August, 
1823, aged 67 years. Bathea Smith, wife of 
George Lumsden, farmer, Keir, who died 5th 
April, 1825, aged 24 years. John Lumsden, son 
of George Lumsden, farmer, Keir, who died 
13th July, 1825, aged 9 months. Also Neil 
Lumsden, infant son of George Lumsden and 
Agnes Smith, who died May, 1833, aged 8 days. 
And Isabella Lumsden, their daughter, who 
died 6th August, 1835, aged 11 months. Also 
his son Benjamin, who died 12th August, 1849, 
aged 12 years. Also his daughter Elizabeth, who 
died on the 20th February, 1854, aged 18 years 
and seven months. William died in infancy 
on the 13th of December, 1854. John died in 
Queensland on the 4th of February, 1865, aged 
34. George died in Assam, India, on the 15th 
of September, 1868, aged 26. Also the above 
George Lumsden. who died at Disblair, Fintray, 
on the 7th day of July, 1876, aged 82 years. 
Also Agnes Smith, widow of George Lumsden ; 
born 23rd May, 1807 ; died 1st December, 1896. 
Also his fourth daughter Isabella Simpson 
Lumsden, who died at Balbithan, Keith-hall, 
on the 11th of January, 1900, aged 59 years. 

Under this stone are interred the mortal re- 
mains of Mr John Lumsden. He rented for 
many years the farm of Eggie, in this parish, 
and died on the 8th day of November, 1833, aged 
52. His daughter Margaret departed this life 
on the 1st March, 1834, in the 25th year of her 
age, and is also buried here. Janet White, his 
relict, died at Banff on the 21st day of January, 
1868, in her 93rd year, and her remains now 
rest here with those of her husband and 

The first-mentioned John Lumsden and 
his wife, Isabel Simpson, were the parents 
of James Lumsden (who purchased the 
estate of Auchry), besides whom they had 
other sons, including John, many years 
tenant of Eggie, who married Janet White 
(particulars of their demise with that of 
a daughter, Margaret, are given in the 
foregoing inscription, No. 2), and George, 
some time in Keir, thereafter in Auqu- 



horthies, who married Bathea Smith, and 
secondly, Agnes Smith, as shown by the 
first inscription. 

A tablestone in an enclosure bears the 
inscription — 

In memory of James Lumsden, Esq., of 
Auchry and Bethelnie, who died the 17th day 
of October, 1869, aged 85 years. 

James Lumsden was son of John Lums- 
den, farmer, Overhill, Belhelvie, and his 
wife, Isabel Simpson — his great-grand- 
father being William Lumsden in Tita- 
boutie, Coull, son of Robert Lumsden of 
Clova and Cushnie. He married Mary, 
daughter of Mr William Mortimer, Aber- 
deen. She succeeded to a share of the 
enormous wealth amassed by the clever 
John Farquhar of Fonthill Abbey. (See 
Crimond.) Mr Lumsden acquired from 
the Cumine family the estate of 
Auchry, in the parish of Monquhitter, 
the rental of which he is said to 
have more than doubled through pro- 
secuting a vigorous policy of reclaim- 
ing and draining. At a later date he also 
bought the property of Bethelnie, in the 
parish of Meldrum. He was survived by 
at least four sons — John Farquhar, who 
succeeded to Auchry; Richard, now of 
Auchry, Garrnond, and Bethelnie ; 
Edward, and Frederick. 

A tablestone has the following inscrip- 
tion — 

To the memory of Ann Simpson, spouse to 
Thomas Milne, farmer in New Craig of Udny, 
who died 22nd July, 1817, aged 32 years. Also 
Flora Milne, his spouse, who died the 30th June, 
1830, aged 33 years. Also of the said Thomas 
Milne, who departed this life on the 30th day of 
December, 1854, aged 76 years. 

Also El6pet Milne, spouse to Alexander 
Forrest, farmer in New Craig of Udny, who 
died 3rd March, 1875, aged 69 years. 

The above Thomas Milne and his first 
wife, Anne Simpson, were the parents of 
John Milne, LL.D., for many years Prin- 

cipal of Dollar Academy, which he con- 
ducted with marked success. Mrs Forrest, 
New Craig, was a daughter by the same 
A tablestone bears — 

Erected by Margaret Nisbet in memory of her 
late husband, the Rev. David Wedded, of the 
United Secession Church, Shiefe, who died 16th 
November, 1826, in the 72nd year of his age and 
41st year of his ministry. An affectionate and 
kind husband and father, a man meek, unassum- 
ing, and upright; a faithful minister of the 
Gospel, who exemplified in his life the blessed 
influence of those truths in which he instructed 
others. He lived respected and died much re- 
gretted. Also of their oldest son, John, who 
died 9th April, 1821, aged 32 years. Their 
daughter, Anne, died at Cabrach 17th October, 
1796, aged 3 years. Their youngest son, 
William, died at London, 12th November, 1826, 
aged 23 years. 

Here also rests the earthly part of Margaret 
Nisbet, who died 25th May, 1831, aged 74 

Rev. David Waddel, previously at Cab- 
rach, was in 1800 elected minister of the 
United Secession Church at Shiels, a 
charge which had been formed in 1782 
through the exertions of Rev. Mr Brown 
of Craigdam. His predecessor was Rev. 
James Andrew, who left the church and 
took to farming. Succeeding ministers 
were Rev. James Macintosh, Rev. William 
Gillespie, and Rev. Edward Rankine, etc. 

The death, at the early age of 32, of Mr 
Waddel' s eldest son, John, mathematical 
master of Elgin Academy, terminated a 
career of much promise. 

A tombstone bears the following inscrip- 
tion — 

Erected by James Anderson in memory of his 
father, Robert Anderson, who died 30th July, 
1849, aged 79 years. 

Also of his mother, Susana Simpson, spouse of 
the above Robert Anderson, who died 13fth 
June, 1860, aged 82 years. 

Robert Anderson was a well-known 
native of the parish. His son, James 



Anderson, was a joiner to trade, but, 
settling in Aberdeen, became a clerk of 
works, and was employed in that capacity 
at the erection of the Grammar School, the 
Free West Church, and many other pro- 
minent buildings. He married a daughter 
of Alexander Gray, one of the founders of 
the firm of Gray, Watt, and Company, rope 
and twine manufacturers, West North 
Street. He died 23rd June, 1873. His 
eldest son, Robert Anderson, is the present 
editor of the " Aberdeen Daily Journal." 
A younger son is a prominent irrigation 
engineer at Denver, Colorado, U.S.A., but 
has lately been engaged in the execution of 
extensive irrigation works in Alberta, 

A grey granite headstone bears the in- 
scription — 

Erected to the memory of Alexr. Rainnie, 
Builder, Aberdeen, who died 4 April, 1845, 
aged 52 years. 

His parents lie in this and the adjoining 
grave, viz., Alexr. Rainnie, late Farmer in 
Cothill, Belhelvie, who died 8th May 1823, aged 
72 years, and Jane Allan who died 20th July 
1828. aged 68 years. 

The above Alexander Rainnie conducted 
an extensive business as a builder in Aber- 
deen. Among other large buildings which 
he erected was Marischal College. 


A headstone is inscribed — 

Erected in memory of Peter Esslemont, late 
Farmer, Mains of Shiels, who died 21st Octr., 
1846, aged 48 years. Also Ann his 3rd daughter, 
who died 27th Nov., 1846, aged 14 years. Also 
Elisabeth Margaret, who died December 13th 
1856, aged 12 years, and Jean Esslemont, who 
died 7th March, 1860, aged 29 years, and 
George Esslemont, who died 30th October 1860, 
aged 19 years. Also Ann Connon wife of the 
said Peter Esslemont, who died 12th Sept. 
1880, aged 81 years. 

Peter Esslemont was for some time 
tenant of Balnakettle, Udny, and after- 

wards of Mains of Shiels. Of his sons, the 
eldest, James, continued the tenancy of the 
latter farm, the arable land of which he 
greatly extended by reclamation from moss 
and moor. He subsequently occupied in 
turn the farms of Kirkton of Culsalmond ; 
Boghead, Forgue ; and Mains of Crombie, 
Marnoch, where he died in July, 1896. He 
was an advanced agriculturist and a lead- 
ing member of the Fanners' Alliance. His 
son, James, continues in Mains of 
Crombie, which is a farm of about 400 

Alexander for many years conducted a 
successful wholesale grocery business at 32 
King Street, Aberdeen, interesting himself 
largely in the affairs of the United Presby- 
terian Church, Belmont Street, of which 
he was an elder for upwards of thirty 
years. He died in 1888, and his business 
is continued by his son under the title of 
Alexander Esslemont and Son. 

Peter, who bore the family name, was 
well known, not only from his partnership 
in the firm of Esslemont and Macintosh, 
warehousemen, Aberdeen, but through his 
connection with the Town Council of the 
city, to which he was elected in 1871. By 
his colleagues there he was early made a 
magistrate, and Lord Provost in 1880. 
During his tenure of the latter office he did 
excellent work, including the carrying of 
an extensive scheme of city improvement. 
In 1885, as an Advanced Liberal 3 he was 
elected Member of Parliament for East 
Aberdeenshire. In December, 1892, he 
was appointed chairman of the Scottish 
Fishery Board, and held that office at his 
death, which took place 8th August, 1894. 
Of his sons, George Birnie is Member of 
Parliament for South Aberdeen. He and 
his brother James are both partners in the 
firm of Esslemont and Macintosh. A 
younger son, Alfred Sherwood, is an elec- 
trical engineer. 

John Ebenezer has a large grocery busi- 



ness at 16 King Street, Aberdeen, in the 
management of which he is assisted by 
his eldest son Peter. Another son is 
William Davidson, advocate. A third 
son is John Ebenezer, who had a brilliant 
career at the University of Aberdeen, and 
is now in medical practice at Durban. 

An old stone with the inscription very 
indistinct bears to have been erected by 
Christian Wilson to the memory of her hus- 
band and of their infant son. The follow- 
ing pathetic verse is also given — 

Traveller attend, beneath the turf rest here 
A loving husband, and a child held dear, 
A childless widow'd wife bemoans their fate 
And sad laments her hard untoward state ; 
Bow'd down with grief altho' in years but 

Silent the husband and child's lisping tongue. 
Death caught the child, the father nought could 

One day, one hour, carry'd both to one grave. 

Abutting on the churchyard is a strong 
vault, which is divided into compart- 
ments. It is still used as a mortuary for 
the remains of sailors that are cast ashore. 
A portion of the churchyard is set apart 
for the interment of such, and is known by 
the title of " The Sailors' Knowe." 

The churchyard was levelled up in 1903, 
and is most tidily kept, forming a pattern 
from which many country parishes might 
with advantage take a copy. 


The old church is said to form the sub- 
ject of Phillip's picture " The Collection." 

It is believed that a primeval forest lies 
submerged along the coast and sands of 
the parish. At all events during severe 
storms from the east, huge masses of peat, 
intermixed with decayed wood and roots, 
have been thrown ashore. 

Quicksands of a dangerous character 
formerly existed. It is recorded that on 
24th September, 1611, when Sir James 

Lawson of Humbie was riding on the 
sands, lie was completely engulfed. His 
body was found on the following day, but 
that of the horse was never seen. This 
tragic occurrence is alleged to have sug- 
gested to Sir Walter Scott the fate of the 
! ' Master of Ravenswood." 

On tlie moorlands there were formerly 
several stone circles, but they have been 

Ancient ornaments of stone, bronze, and 
gold, as well as urns and calcined bones, 
have been discovered at different times. 

Various derivations have been given of 
the name of this parish. The author of 
"The Place Names of West Aberdeen- 
shire" suggests that it may have been 
derived from Roiunean, the diminutive of 
Roinn, a small promontory or headland, 
or from Rinneen which, according to 
Joyce, signifies "little point." 

Between 1224 and 1700 the spelling dif- 
fered slightly — from Ryny, and Rynyn, to 
Ryne. In 1730 the present form — Rhynie 
— was employed. (Macfarlane's Geog. 
Collections MSS.) 

The Church of Ryny was attached 
to the See of Moray, and Bishop 
Bricius erected it into one of the 
eight prebends of the Cathedral Church 
of Elgin. This arrangement was rati- 
fied by the succeeding bishop — Andrew 
de Moravia — at Elgin, on 5th May, 
1226. (Regis. Epis. Morav., pp. 73- 
76.) The prebendary was taken bound to 
provide a sub-deacon to serve as his vicar 
in the cathedral church. 

Difficulties regardiug the rights of the 
church and its lands arose early in the 13th 
century. In 1224, Pope Honorius III. 
granted a commission to the Abbot of Deer 
and the Dean and Archdeacon of Aberdeen 



for the purpose of redressing the wrongs 
clone at Rynyn, etc., by David of Strath- 
bogy. (Antiq., II., p. 153.) Three years 
later ait agreement was arrived at, but it 
did not prove permanent, for the quarrel 
broke out afresh two centuries later 
through the action of Alexander, Earl of 
Huntly, in withholding payment of the 
rents of portions of the church lands. The 
Bishop, who was all-powerful, resorted to 
the extreme measure of cursing the earl 
and his predecessors, which brought about 
a speedy adjustment. (Ibid., p. 162.) 

The bell was hung in a small house 
specially erected for the purpose ou the 
" Bell Knowe " above the church. It bears 
the inscription — 

Michael Bvrgeehvts, M.F. 
Soli. Deo. Gloria. 1620. 

A handbell was bought in Aberdeen in 
1762, and used at funerals up to about 

The old Parish Church stood in the 
graveyard near the entrance gate, and 
measured 52 feet by 20. It stood east and 
west, and was not plastered, the naked 
baulks being visible from underneath. In 
1758, it had fallen into disrepair, as also 
had the manse office houses. It was found 
that the necessary improvements could not 
be executed at a lesser cost than £101 
13s 4d sterling, and, the heritors objecting, 
the Presbytery had to interpose. By 1822 
the structure was in a ruinous condition, 
with huge holes in the walls and door. 
The discomfort was intensified through the 
manse poultry finding the seats a conveni- 
ent roosting place. This necessitated the 
parishioners, when on their way to service, 
pulling twigs of broom with which to sweep 
their seats before sitting down! 

In 1823, the Duke of Gordon, who was 
then the sole heritor, intimated his willing- 
ness to provide a new church at the village 
capable of seating 450 to 500 persons, and 

measuring 57 feet by 32. This was 
accepted, and the edifice sufficed till 1889, 
when it was remodelled and enlarged, and 
a clock tower erected, as afterwards stated. 
The church, which forms practically a 
side of the village square, now accommo- 
dates about 550 worshippers. It contains 
a handsome two-manual pipe organ, the 
gift of Mrs George Proctor, Rhynie, in 
memory of her husband. 


From 1473 to 1489, Master David Mony- 
penny was prebendary. In 1488, he was 
amerced in the seventh part of the fruits 
of his benefice for contumacy and non- 
residence at the cathedral. In 1493, Sir 
Thomas Myretoune was parson. From 
1539 to 1547, Rev. Alexander Hepburn 
held the appointment, and he was followed 
by Rev. John Leslie, who in turn was suc- 
ceeded by Rev. Thomas Sutherland. 

Probably the most aristocratic parson 
was Rev. James Gordon, fourth son of 
George, Earl of Huntly, who fell at 
Corrichie. He held the appointment from 
1560 to at least 1563, but being an ardent 
Roman Catholic, he was compelled to 
resign at the Reformation. Going abroad, 
he was admitted a member of the Society 
of Jesus, and secured the degree of Doctor 
of Theology. He is said to have been a 
very active agent of the Roman Catholic 
Church. He died in Paris on Good Friday, 
1620. (Gordon's "History of Gordon," 
II., p. 119; Regis. Episc. Morav., and 
Antiquities, II.) 


In 1567, Andrew Thomson was reader at 
a salary of 16 lib. He was followed in 
succession by James Uruell and Arthur 

In 1574, Rhynie, Essie, Gartly, and 
Diumdelgie were under the ministerial 
superintendence of Rev. George Nicolson. 



In 1586, Rev. Alexander Hay was elected 
minister of Rhynie, with Cabrach also in 
charge. After less than three years he 
was translated to the parish of Dipple. 

Before February, 1609, Rev. Henrie 
Ross, M.A., was minister of both Rhynie 
and Essie. (New Spalding Club's Sheriff 
Court Records, II., p. 143.) By 26th 
July, 1646, he had become so old and 
" infatuated that he did misknow his owne 
vyf and children," and was " vncapable of 
any publict function." (Presby. Records.) 
Demission accordingly took place. Besides 
a daughter who married Rev. Robert 
Cheyne, Kennethinont, he had a son 
James, who sadly misapplied his talents. 
On 27th October, 1640, he was accused of 
being " a commone drinker, a lascivious 
dancer in taverns, and a macker of pro- 
phane ungodli and infamous cockalanes 
and rynies." 

Rev. George Chalmers, M.A., third son 
of Rev. George Chalmers of Easter Tyrie, 
etc., who had for some time acted as 
schoolmaster of Inveravon, was ordained 
assistant and successor in 1642. He 
married Jean Gordon of Thomastown in 
1646, and died in or about 1660. Accord- 
ing to Dr Scott, one daughter, Margaret, 
married John Grant, merchant, Elgin, and 
a second daughter, Jean, married Thomas, 
son of James Spens of Kirkton, Alves. 
There were also two sons — Rev. Hugh 
Chalmers, who was for some time school- 
master of Keith, and subsequently minister 
of Marnoch ; and Rev. George Chalmers, 
minister of Drumblade from 1687 till his 
death in 1702. It may be added that a 
great-grandson of this worthy minister of 
Rhynie was Rev. John Chalmers, D.D., 
Principal of King's College from 1746 till 
his death on 7th April, 1800, while another 
great-grandson was James Chalmers (1713- 
1764), who, in 1748, founded the "Aber- 
deen Journal." 

In 1661, Rev. Alexander Youngson, 

M.A., was translated from Tullynessle and 
inducted to this parish, where he died on 
26th November, 1678. 

In 1680, Rev. James Gordon, M.A., was 
presented to the charge, and remained in 
office till 30th May, 1716, when he was 
deposed for supporting the cause of the 
Pretender and rejecting the authority of 
the Presbytery. In this case the deposi- 
tion fell lightly, as Mr Gordon was pos- 
sessed of ample independent means, being 
proprietor of Chapeltown, Drumblade. 

The succeeding incumbent is commemo- 
rated by a small marble cenotaph, which 
was removed from the old church, and 
fixed into the sloping sill of a window in 
the present edifice. It bears a Latin in- 
scription, which in English is — 

For a memorial of a very reverend man, 
Alexander Ogilvie, A.M., the faithful pastor of 
this church. 

When he had led these parishes (i.e., those of 
Rhynie and Essie) about 22 years, and had 
adorned his holy office with an integrity of 
mind and a simplicity of manners truly 
primeval, he died February 6, 1738, leaving 
great regret for his loss. 

He was born A.D., 1686. 

Rev. Alexander Ogilvie, son of John 
Ogilvie of Cairnstown, Morayshire — a 
lineal descendant of Ogilvie of Findlater 
and Deskford — was ordained to Rhynie on 
10th July, 1717, and in December of the 
following year he married Mary, daughter 
of John Cumming Farquharson of Kellas 
and Haughton. Of the family of this 
union, the eldest son, Alexander Ogilvie, 
on the death, in 1767, of his uncle, Francis 
Farquharson of Haughton, succeeded to 
that estate, and thereupon assumed the 
additional surname and the arms of Far- 
quharson . 

In 1739, Rev. Patrick Gordon, who for 
the previous eight years had been mission- 
ary at Enzie, was ordained to Rhynie, and 
remained till his translation to Bellie in 



Rev. John Brown, son of Thomas 
Brown, schoolmaster, Huntly, was or- 
dained minister in 1752, and was translated 
to Ncwhills in 1771. He married Barbara, 
eldest daughter of John Gordon of Craig, 
and the great-grandson of this marriage, 
James Francis Gordon Shirrefs, ultimately 
succeeded to the estate of Craig, and there- 
upon assumed the patronymic of Gordon. 
He was the last Gordon to possess that 
beautiful property and castle. Mr Brown's 
son John, who died in London on 29th 
September, 1818, bequeathed two hundred 
guineas to each of the kirk-sessions of 
Rhynie and Newhills for behoof of the 

Of three tablets, with freestone mould- 
ings and granite backing in a large 
enclosure, one bears — 

Here are interred the mortal remains of the 
Reverend James Milne, who was for fifty 
years minister of this parish. He was the son 
of the Reverend Robert Milne, minister of 
Speymouth, in the county of Moray; was born 
in 1743, and after being six years minister of 
the chapel at Enzie, was presented to this 
parish in 1771, having previously married 
Jane, only daughter of Alexander Milne of 
Braehead. near Keith. He died on the 27th 
of May, 1822. 

During the long period of his ministry ho 
possessed much of the confidence and esteem 
of his parishioners, and of many private 
friends, who, in admiration of his character 
and talents, cultivated his acquaintance. 

His beloved and attached widow died on the 
21st April, 1834, in her 85th year, and her re- 
mains arc also here deposited. . . . 

They had four sons and four daughters. Of 
these the remains of their second daughter, 
Jane, who died on the 18th May, 1803, in her 
29th year; of their fourth son, James, who 
died on the 20th of March, 1821, in his 32nd 
year ; and of their fourth daughter, Anne, who 
died on the 1st of April, 1826, in her 39th 
year, are interred in this ground. And within 
the precincts of the old church are interred 
the remains of their third son, Arthur, and of 
their third daughter, Isabel, who died in 
their infancy. 

Their eldest son, Robert, having been for 
several years in London, engaged in mer- 
cantile concerns, much respected and esteemed 
by all who knew him, died at St Domingo, 
on the 9th of September, 1814, in his 38th year. 

The foregoing inscription is almost 
unique in the minuteness of its details. It 
may be proper to add, however, that Rev. 
James Milne's second son, Alexander, 
became one of the Crown Commissioners 
of Woods and Forests, while his eldest 
daughter, Catherine, married John Gar- 
diner, Smithston. 

His report upon the character of the 
parishioners of Rhynie, as given in the 
Statistical Account, is complimentary to 
them, but gratuitously sarcastic on certain 
outside classes — " They (the people of 
Rhynie) are sober, industrious, peaceable, 
and contented with their condition. They 
enjoy not the luxuries of cities, but they 
have the necessaries and some of the com- 
forts of life, along with health of body and 
animation of character ; and they add more 
to the strength of the country than four 
times their number of discontented and 
debauched manufacturers or mobbish 
politicians can do, in any time of public 
or national danger." 

In 1823, Rev. William Allardyce, M.A., 
son of George Allardyce, surgeon, Banff, 
was inducted. He played an important 
part in the Marnoch controversy which 
preceded the Disruption, and earned 
credit for his consistency, dignity, and 
strength of mind. For several years 
he lived in retirement at Portsoy, 
where he died on 22nd January, 
1867. He had married Nancy Cruick- 
shank, and besides three daughters, they 
had two sons — James M'Kenzie, who be- 
came minister of Bowden s and, on 8th 
March, 1873, received the degree of D.D., 
and Francis, who received a commission as 
an officer in the Honourable East India 
Company's service. No tombstone marks 



the grave of Mr Allardyce, which is near 
the enclosure where his predecessor is in- 

On 2nd December, 1858, Rev. Alexander 
Anderson, M.A., who had for some time 
previously been acting as schoolmaster of 
Bellie. was ordained assistant and suc- 
cessor, and on the death of Mr Allardyce 
as above, succeeded to the full charge. In 
addition to discharging the pastoral duties 
with fidelity and acceptance, he interested 
himself greatly in the educational affairs 
of the parish, and it was at his instigation 
that the graveyard was levelled and laid 
out. He married Catherine Forbes, who 
was a native of Fochabers. She died in 
1902. Of a family of four sons and four 
daughters, two sons are Church of Scot- 
laud miuisters, namely, Rev. Alexander J. 
Anderson, M.A., of Auchindoir, and Rev. 
Alfred W. Anderson, B.D., of Craiglock- 
hart, Edinburgh. Mr Anderson was trans- 
lated from Rhynie to Gartly in 1878, where 
he is still in active duty, and exercises an 
uncommon influence. He is (quoting the 
words of one of his co-presbyters) one of 
the best ministers of the Church, and has 
satisfactorily solved within his jurisdic- 
tion the farm servant church problem. 

Rev. James Jolly Calder, M.A., was or- 
dained to the charge in 1879, and inducted 
to Cairnie in 1889. Like his predecessors, 
he has interested himself greatly in educa- 
tional matters, and for many years has 
acted as clerk to the important Presby- 
tery of Strathbogie. 

The present minister of Rhynie is Rev. 
J. C. M'Hardy, B.D., who was ordained in 


In 1651. William Watson, who at that 
time was parochial schoolmaster, gave 
much offence to the Presbytery of the 
bounds. He " was called a tipler and idle 
speaker some tymes, but was careful 

encughe of the bairnes, and did take 
paines upon them for their educatioune. 
He was admonisht for the tyme, and ex- 
horted to amendment ; otherwise to be re- 
moued." (Presbytery Records.) In 1685 
Rev. George Sharp held the appointment. 
In the following year he was an applicant 
for Alford. 

The succeeding teacher is commemorated 
by a tablestone — • 

Here lyes Mr Thomas Roper, who was some- 
time schoolmaster at Rhynie. Lawfull husband 
to Jean Innes, who died March 9, 174 - , aged 

Unfortunately, Mr Roper — who was a 
keen Jacobite — got implicated in the rising 
of 1715, and had to suffer deposition. 

Jerome Spence succeeded, but within 
four years .... Duncan was in 
charge. By 1725, Rev. John Yule was in- 
stalled, but he resigned and became a 
minister in Kirkwall. Successive teachers 
were Alexander Adam in 1747 ; Alexander 
Murray in 1758 ; Alexander Irvine in 
1775; William Gardiner in 1779; and 
Alexander Harper in 1802. The last 
named also officiated as session clerk, and 
on 15th July, 1809, married Jean Brown, 
daughter of James Brown, Cottown, 

Rev. Robert Duff held office in 1835. 
He was a native of Banff, and became 
minister of All Saints, Berbice, Demerara. 

About 1840, Rev. George Stuart was ap- 
pointed, and for nearly thirty years dis- 
charged the duties with considerable suc- 
cess, sending many pupils direct to the 
university. He resigned in 1869, and was 
presented with a purse of sovereigns and 
silver snuff-box. He afterwards accepted 
an appointment as missionary at Aber- 
chirder, and died 23rd February, 1880. A 
son, George Alexander Stuart, a licenti- 
ate of the Church of Scotland, who was 
for some time at Bo'ness, died in London 
in 1883. 



Robert Rattray, M.A., the present 
headmaster, was installed on 11th Novem- 
ber, 1869. 


A vault has a raised erection over it re- 
sembling the quarter of a sphere. It is 
open in front, and within are shown a 
ooat-of-arms for Gordon and the initials 
" A. G." Over the arms is the sacred 
monogram, while underneath is a warning 
in Latin to " Remember death." An hour- 
glass, skull, cross-bones, and other mortu- 
ary emblems are also shown, together with 
the inscription — 

Heir lyes Alexr. Gordone of Mvirack, who 
departed this lyfe the 6 of Octr., 1668. 

Muirack is a small property in the Ordi- 
quhill district, which, in 1513, belonged 
to the Earl of Huntly. Mr J. Malcolm 
Bulloch, the indefatigable historian of the 
Gordons, kindly communicates that he has 
discovered from various authorities, in- 
cluding Theodore Goi don's MS. History of 
the Gordons, that the Earl, before 1542, 
granted a charter of Muirack to John 
Gordon of Cormellat, a descendant of the 
Gordons of Cairnborrow, whose progeni- 
tors were the Gordons of Essie. 

In 1624, William Gordon and his wife, 
Marjory Gordon, are designed as pro- 
prietors. (Ordiquhill Records.) On 7th 
August, 1635, William Gordon and his son, 
the above Alexander Gordon, with numer- 
ous others of the Gordon Clan, were or- 
dered to compear before the Privy Council 
on 22nd September following to find caution 
for keeping of good rule and quietness in 
the country under the pain of rebellion. 
In 1644, William Gordon was one of the 
four collectors of the taxation in Banff- 
shire; and Spalding, who records the fact 
(Vol. II., p. 329), adds that Lord Gordon 
compelled him to deliver up 2000 merks 
of the collection. In 1647, the local Presby- 
tery ordered inquiry to be made anent 

Alexander Gordon, who was then con- 
sidered a " malignant and enemy to the 
work of reformation." Prior to this, Par- 
liament had granted a commission to up- 
lift his rents on the plea that he was a 
" malignant." 

Adam Gordon, principal and professor 
of Greek in the College of Mell, in France, 
was a descendant of the Muirack branch 
of the Gordons. (Spalding Club Miscel- 
lany, V., pp. 332-33.) 


Here are interred in the hope of a blessed 
resurrection the body of Robert Gordon, late 
in Newseat of Rhynie, who departed this life 
March the 4th, 1793. in the 64th year of his 
age. Also Helen Wemyss, his relict, who de- 
parted this life the 7th of May, 1812, aged 
81 years. 

And also George Gordon, late in Ord, who 
died February 28, 1820, aged 70. Also his 
spouse, Mary Gordon, died the 24th February, 
1834. aged 68 years. 

Other tablestones alongside record the 
death of Hugli Gordon, late in Mains of 
Druminnor, 19th April, 1792, aged 71 ; of 
Janet Gordon, wife of George Gordon, late 
in Bogenclough, 11th March, 1806, aged 
68 ; and of Margaret, lawful daughter to 
Alexander Gordon and Jean Garioch, some 
time in Mains of Knockespock, 26th 
March, 1808, aged 52. 

A tablestone hearing the initials " A. H." 
and " C. O." shows various mortuary 
emblems and a shield, which is charged 
with the rare representation of two 
" owsen yokes" or teams. The inscrip- 
tion is — 

Here lies Christian Ord. some time spouse 
to Andrew Hay in New Merdrum. She de- 
parted this life January the 11th, 1742. Also 
John Hay, their son, who died June the 5th. 


This Christian Ord was a descendant of 
the old family of Ord of Findochty. 

Within an enclosure are three tablets 



batted to a wall. The inscription on one, 
(that to Rev. James Milne and his family) 
has already been given. The two others 


In memory of John Gardiner, late of Smith- 
ston, in this parish. He was born on the 2nd 
of February, 1771, and died on the 31st of 
March, 1846. 

He is survived by two sons and one daughter, 
who record this remembrance of a kind and 
affectionate father. 

To the memory of Catherine, wife of John 
Gardiner of Smithston. and eldest daughter of 
the late Rev. James Milne of this parish. She 
died on the 6th of June, 1837, in her 66th year, 
leaving her husband, two sons, and one 
daughter, who record this testimony of their 
affectionate, grateful, and dutiful remembrance 
of her as a wife and mother. 

Several generations of the family of 
Gardiner were tenants of the large farm of 
Smithston. Before 1770, John Gardiner 
was tenant, and married Isobel Thomson. 
John Gardiner, referred to in the two fore- 
going inscriptions was a twin son of this 
union. The other twin son was Adam. 
Other sons were James, Francis, and 
George. The last-named, who was born 
16th February, 1782, became minister 
of Aberdour, and died there on 30th 
January, 1357, having held the pastorate 
for 46 years. (Tombstone at Aberdour.) 

John Gardiner and Catherine Milne 
were married on 26th April, 1806, and 
with two sons — John and James — they 
had an only daughter, Jane, who 
married Alexander Mitchell, of the 
Aberdeen Town and County Banking 
Company, now known as the Town and 
County Bank (Limited). One of the 
sons of that marriage, Alexander Mitchell, 
succeeded to the estate of Stow, near 
Edinburgh. Mrs Mitchell, his mother, 
married, secondly, Lord Reay. (See Bel- 

An old tablestone displaying various 
emblems has the inscription — 

Here are interred the remains of George 
Farquhar, late tacksman of Godrai (? Cul- 
drain), who departed this life April 28th, 1762, 
in the ninety-first year of his age. As also the 
remains of Janet Cran, his second wife, who 
died August 26th, 1743, in the seventy-third 
year of her age. Here likewise are interred 
the remains of George and John Farquhars, 
children of the said George Farquhar and 
Helen Taylor, his third wife. They both died 
in 1753, the elder in the 7 year of his age, 
and the younger in the i. year of his age. 

A railed-in grave has a tombstone bear- 
ing the inscription — 

1858. Erected by James Paterson, farmer in 
Brawland, Auchindoir, in memory of his father 
and mother, the late George Paterson, farmer 
in Brawland, who died 30th September, 1832, 
aged 59 years, and his spouse, Elizabeth Lind- 
say, died 1st October, 1837, aged 58 years. 

And Mary Ann, daughter of the said James 
Paterson, died 10th October, 1851, aged 3 years. 
Also the above named James Paterson. Born, 
February, 1809; died, 29th December, 1884. 
And his wife, Jane Duff; born 20th June, 1824 ; 
died 2nd May, 1889. Also their son, John, 
who died in Aberdeen, 13th May, 1896, aged 

Brawland has for a lengthened period 
been occupied by the Paterson family. 
James Paterson, the present tenant, is the 
grandson of George Paterson and his wife, 
Elizabeth Lindsay, to whose memory the 
above tombstone was erected. 

The old name of the holding was Bralen, 
and James Milne was tenant of it in 1621. 
(Sheriff Court Records, II., p. 247.) 

A wallstone bears — 

Here lyes Barbara Mitchel, spous to William 
Dasson, Rows of North, who dyed on May tho 
1st, 1721. and also Alexander Dason, his son, 
who departed this life on March the 15th, 1732, 
and of age 27 years. 

The above William Dasson in 1696 bore 
the designation of " cottar and tradesman 
resident at New Merdrum." For himself 



and his wife he was charged 18s of poll. 
The surname Dasson was then quite a 
common one in the parish, nine separate 
householders bearing it. In many in- 
stances succeeding families have altered it 
to Dawson. 

A tablestone gives the following unusual 
form of inscription — 

October 22. 1810, in the 51st year of her age, 
the body of Elizabeth Henderson, wife of 
Robert Leslie, in Belhinny, fell asleep, and 
was laid in this bed. a resting place till the 
resurrection. Also her son, John Leslie, who 
died in infancy. 

Done by the care of her affectionate husband 
and sons. 

A headstone bears — 

Sacred to the memory of William Balgowan, 
late in Raws of Noth. who died 22nd Novem- 
ber, 1809. aged 49 years. And of his wife, 
Elizabeth Balgowan, who died 20th October. 
1852, aged 82 years, parents of James and 
William Balgowan, their only and lawful off- 
spring . . 

Whither you be friend or foe. 

Or if you be a stranger, 
Prepare to day to meet your God, 

And you need fear no danger. 

The above William Balgowan and 
Elizabeth Balgowan, who belonged to the 
parish of Drumblade, were married on 
5th December, 1804. 

A tombstone is inscribed as under — 

1869. Erected by Alexander Leslie, messr- 
at-arms in Aberdeen, in memory of his father 
John Leslie, miliar at Barflatt, who died 3rd 
April, 1840, aged 66 years ; and of his mother, 
Ann Grant or Leslie, who died 12th May, 1849, 
aged 74 years. 

Also of their son Peter Leslie, late miller 
at Mill of Barflatt, who died there 4th March. 
1861, aged 47 years. Also Jessie Smith, be- 
loved wife of the above Peter Leslie, who died 
at Cottown, Druminnor, 7th February. 1897, 
aged 82 years. 

John Leslie and his wife, Ann Grant, 
were the parents of the late John Grant 
Leslie, Sheriff Clerk Depute of Aberdeen- 

shire and auditor of the Sheriff Court, who 
left a number of manuscript volumes of 
extracts from the Records of the Sheriff 
Court of Aberdeenshire. The most im- 
portant of these extracts appear in " The 
Records of the Sheriffdom of Aberdeen " 
edited for the New Spalding Club by Mr 
David Littlejohn, LL.D., Sheriff Clerk. 

A headstone is — 

In memory of William Gordon, who died at 
Rhynie Village, 1854, aged 26 years. Though 
fatuous, yet he attended church twice every 
Sabbath. In his person he was a model of 
cleanliness, in his manners inoffensive, and 
sociable in his habits. 

In peace the dust of William lies 
Till the last trumpet rend the skies ; 
No longer shall the grave retain, 
But render up its charge again. 

A vaulted grave has a handsome obelisk 
and a fine granite monument which are 
inscribed — 


In loving remembrance of John Symon, for- 
merly carrier, Rhynie, who died April, 1835. 

This monument is erected by his eldest son, 
James Symon, now of Melbourne, colony of 
Victoria, Australia. 


In loving memory of James Symon of Mel- 
bourne, Australia, who died at Huntly. Aber- 
deenshire, on the 5th July, 1889, aged 63 years. 

Erected by his sorrowing widow. 

James Symon left Rhynie in early man- 
hood and finally settled in Melbourne, 
where he accumulated considerable wealth. 
In 1886, he returned for the purpose of 
erecting a monument to the memory of his 
parents. Happening to spend a Sunday 
in a village in the north of England, he 
took a walk before morning service, and 
was so much impressed by the sound of 
the church bell that he decided to return 
to Rhynie within two years and provide it 
with a tower, clock, and bell. This laud- 
able resolution he carried out in 1889 at 
a cost of about £500, but, unfortunately, 



he died suddenly during the progress of the 
operations. The tower is of graceful de- 
sign, and contains a three-dialled clock. 
The bell weighs 11 cwt., and has a full, 
rich tone. It bears the donor's name, and 
the date of his gift. The parishioners, to 
commemorate the handsome benefaction, 
erected in the inner side of the base of the 
tower a brass cenotaph, which is in- 
scribed — 

Ix grateful remembrance of James Stmon 
Esq., of Melbourne, Doxoe of this Tower. 
Died 5th July, 1889. 


A headstone bears the inscription — 

In memory of Maggie Lillie, the beloved 
wife of The Rev. Alexander Mackay, LL.D. 
first Free Church Minister of Rhynie, who fell 
asleep in Jesus. 8th June. 1865, aged 39 years. 

Also William and John Sinclair their 
children, who died in infancy. 

"The dead in Christ shall rise first." 

Rev. Dr Mackay was born in Thurso 
loth November, 1815, and was educated at 
King's College, Aberdeen. He was called 
to the Free Church of Rhynie in 1845, 
where, although assiduous in his ministerial 
duties, he found time to cultivate his 
hobby for geography, and to write a num- 
ber of works on that subject. These com- 
manded a large sale, some of them reaching 
a 17th edition. The death of his wife, in 
1865, at the early age of 39, was a severe 
blow, and in the following year he resigned 
his charge at Rhynie and took up his 
residence in Edinburgh, subsequently re- 
moving to Ventnor, where he died on 31st 
January, 1895. He was survived by his 
second wife and by five daughters. Of five 
sons, all predeceased him. One — Alex- 
ander— was the celebrated African mission- 
ary known as "Mackay of Uganda," who 
as a boy attended the parish school of 
Auchindoir. Another was Professor James 
Bunyan Mackay, who died at Melbourne. 

It is matter for regret that no monu- 
ment stands at Rhynie to the memory of 
"Mackay of Uganda," who was perhaps 
the greatest of its sons, and who in youth 
gave little indication of his wonderful 
personality save in the brightness of his 

A granite headstone has the following — 

In loving memory of Rev. Robert Harvey 
Smith, M.A., of "The Park," Rhynie. who 
died January 11th, 1901, aged 76 years. 

" Till the day break." 

Rev. Robert Harvey Smith was the 
eldest son of Peter Smith, merchant, 
Rhynie. After completing his theological 
training, he became minister of Princes 
Street Congregational Church, Dundee. 
From there he removed to Peterhead, and 
subsequently to Carlisle, ultimately accept- 
ing the charge at Duncanstone. He took 
an active interest in the forming of Mutual 
Improvement Societies in the district. The 
excellent work done by those societies is 
modestly told in a volume published by 
Mr Smith, entitled "A Village Propa- 
ganda." Retiring from the ministry, he 
built a neat cottage at Rhynie, which he 
named " The Park," in memory of its 
being in the field in which, as a boy, he 
had herded his father's cows. He was held 
in high esteem over a wide district. He 
proved himself a ' ' son of song " of no 
mean order. Several of his pieces show 
deep pathos, and his enduring love for the 
district finds expression in the verse — 

Lat Noth but on my graif leuk doon, 
An' Bogie's water sweetly croon 
By yon kirkyard, an' I'll sleep soun" 
On the bonnie banks o' Bogie. 


The Congregational Church originated 
under somewhat peculiar circumstances. 
In the beginning of the last century a 
division took place in Cabrach Secession 



Church, through the minister's openly de- 
nouncing certain itinerant preachers of 
the Independent body who had invaded 
the parish. Many members of the congre- 
gation supported their minister, while 
others favoured the travelling preachers 
Feeling ran high till the minister resigned, 
when an arrangement was made whereby 
the church was tised alternately by the 
Secession body and by the Independent 
party. The latter grew strong, and called 
Mr Cruickshank to be their pastor. At 
this time, there were two places of meet- 
ing, the principal at Cabrach and the 
other in Rhynie, but by the year 1808 
Rhynie had become the chief place of 
meeting, and in a few years it became the 
only real church — Cabrach being reduced 
to the status of a preaching station. As 
an independent church the Congregational 
charge at Rhynie dates its existence from 

Eight separate ministers have held the 
incumbency. The first, as already stated, 
was Rev. Mr Cruickshank, who was or- 
dained in 1804, and laboured with much 
success till 1841, when lie retired, and 
went to reside with his relatives in 

A railed-in grave has a granite obelisk, 
which commemorates the second minister 
thus — 

Erected by friends in memory of the Rev. 
Alexander Nicoll, for 35 years the faithful 
minister of the Congregational Church, Rhynie. 
He died 6th May, 1878, aged 68. St John xvii., 

Rev. Alexander Nicoll is said to have 
been an " earnest preacher of the old 
school" and a 'very godly man of great 
weight of character." He married Mar- 
garet Smith, who died at Aberdeen, 31st 
May, 1906, aged 80. Their sons, Alex- 
ander, James Robert, and Patrick John 
Smith are physicians in New Zealand, 
Queensland, and Buckie respectively. 

The successors thereafter and their dates 
of appointment were — Rev. John 
Cameron, December, 1878, resigned July, 
1880; Rev. James Edwards, July, 1881, 
removed to Glasgow, May, 1884; Rev. 
William Singer, September, 1885, died in 
September, 1886; Rev. Alexander Yeats, 
July, 1887, resigned June, 1896 ; Rev. G. 
C. Smith, October, 1897, resigned, April, 
1903 ; and Rev. Arthur Shand, September, 
1903, died 30th June, 1905. The present 
incumbent is Rev. William Farries. 


Among several natives of Rhynie who 
have risen to eminence may be mentioned 
James Henderson, M.D., medical mission- 
ary to China. He belonged to the most 
humble ranks, but as the result of his 
own industry and ambition secured a good 
education at Edinburgh University. He 
afterwards settled at Shanghai, where he 
did excellent work. 

Another was George Paul Macdonell, 
M.A., barrister-at-law, London, who died 
9th June, 1895. His brother is John 
Macdonell, who in 1898 was made a C.B., 
and in 1903 was created a knight bachelor. 
After a. successful journalistic career, he 
studied for the bar, and was called at the 
Middle Temple in 1873. As editor of 
"State Trials," "Civil Judicial Statis- 
tics," "Criminal Judicial Statistics," and 
as the author of "A Survey of Political 
Economy," "The Law of Master and 
Tenant," " A Treatise on the Land Ques- 
tion," etc., he has attained the first rank. 

A third was the late Alexander Allar- 
dyce, who was for some time associated 
with the editorship of " Blackwood's 
Magazine," and was the author of 
numerous historical works, including " The 
Life of Admiral Keith," "Scotland and 
Scotsmen in the Eighteenth Century," 
and " Letters from and to Charles Kirk- 
patrick Sharpe." 




When the parish graveyard was levelled 
up about twenty-eight years ago, several 
relics of antiquity were discovered, includ- 
ing a deep stone coffin of hard whinstone, 
which had been hollowed out of a solid 
block. It has a rounded projection at one 
end, sufficiently large to hold the head of 
the remains. The presumption is that the 
coffin had been made for the body of an 
influential person, but there are no inscrip- 
tions or markings to aid investigation. 

In clearing out the foundations of the old 
church, a sculptured stone, and the lower 
portion of another, were discovered. The 
former displays at the top the beast's head 
symbol, on the right the double disc and 
z-shaped rod symbol, while at the foot the 
mirror and comb ornaments are shown. 
The latter has at the top the double disc 
and z-shaped rod symbol, below which are 
the crescent, etc., and at the bottom the 
mirror, but not the comb. There are other 
sculptured stones in the parish, notably the 
" Craw Stane," which stands in a field on 
Mains of Rhynie. Besides incised lines, it 
displays the fish and elephant symbols. 
Further particulars with illustrations will 
be found in the Spalding Club's "Sculp- 
tured Stones " and in J. Romilly Allan's 
" Early Christian Monuments of Scot- 

In July, 1896, while excavations were 
proceeding in the upper end of the village 
for the erection of a new cottage, three 
parallel stone cists were laid bare about 
two feet below the surface. Each con- 
tained human bones, but no urn or calcined 

Particulars of old holdings, rentals, and 
topographical details of an interesting 
nature are given in Macdonald's " Place 
Names of Strathbogie." 


This small ancient parish, which was 
united to Rhynie early in the seventeenth 
century, takes its name from the Gaelic 
Eas, " a waterfall, rapid," and sometimes 
a " narrow glen." The title is appropriate 
— as also is that of Essachie — to the stream 
which flows through the glen and joins the 
Bogie near Mill of Noth. The features 
and course of the rivulet are well described 
in the opening verse from an old ballad — 

0' the bonnie wee Essachie burn, 
Hoo it rushes and tumbles in glee, 

Frae Merdrum's braes, by aul' Lesmoir, 
An' Craig-beg on the sea. 


The old Parish Church stood in the small 
graveyard near the left side of the public 
road leading from Rhynie to Cabrach, and 
at a distance of a little over two miles 
from Rhynie village. It measured 36 by 
15^ feet. The furnishings were of a 
superior order, especially the high altar, on 
which, in Roman Catholic times, the local 
proprietors were taken bound to pay their 
wadsets and monetary obligations. 

The names of several of the old priests 
and ministers have been preserved, thus — 

In 1490, Richard Strachan was rector. 

In 1521, and for many years after, 
William Gordon was rector. 

In 1574, the parish was supplied by Gil- 
bert Nory, reader, who was followed two 
years later by Walter Leslie, whose emolu- 
ments were " the haill third of parsonage 
and vicarage extending to £6 13s 4d." 

Successive readers and ministers were. 
Patrick Gordon in 1578-79 ; Duncan Breb- 
ner in 1585 ; Patrick Chalmers in 1601 ; 
and Henrie Ross, M.A., in 1607. 

The Essie parishioners continued to 
have service in their own church each 




alternate Sunday down to about 1760, 
when, on the fabric becoming ruinous, the 
services were restricted to Rhynie. The 
old manse was occupied to a later date. 
Tn 1779. James Leslie and his wife Jean 
Gordon were tenants, and Elizabeth Watt 
died therein on 10th July, 1787. In 1860, 
the glebe of Essie, which extended to a 
little over four acres, was excambed for a 
similar portion of ground lying contiguous 
to the glebe of Rhynie. 

Forty years ago, the ruined walls of the 
old church stood to the height of a few 
feet, but the foundations have since been 
cleared out and the churchyard put into 
thorough order. 


The lands of Essie were included in the 
grant of Strathholgie made in 1376 by 
Robert II. to Sir John de Gordon, who 
had at least two sons — John, to whom he 
gave the lands of Scurdargue and Essie ; 
and Thomas, who succeeded to the Daach 
of Ruthven. These sons are known in 
history as " the Jock and Tam Gordons," 
and much controversy has arisen on the 
question of their birth". It is under- 
stood that the Lyon Office favours the 
contention that they were illegitimate, 
although, probably, the only evidence 
justifying it is the charter of con- 
firmation of the lands of Ardlach, dated 
1418-23 (Antiq., Vol. II., p. 379), wherein 
John Gordon is described as " natural 
son." Against that, however, there are 
MSS. of the Gordons, which contend that 
botli sons were legitimate, while it cannot 
he ignored that in old deeds the term 
" natural son " had a very different mean- 
ing from that now assigned to it. In a 
notarial instrument dated as recently 
as 1556 a lawful son is described as 
" natural and legitimate," and in a subse- 
quently-dated sasine another person is 
named as "lawful and natural heir." The 

problem may he left with the remark that 
if " Jock and Tam " were illegitimate, they 
were surprisingly fortunate in the marri- 
ages they made, the families they founded, 
and the lands they acquired ! The two last 
heads are well defined in the following 
stanzas from notes on " Lays of Strath- 
bogie " — 

Jock of Scurdarg had houses grand 
In Bogie, Mar, and Buchan land, 
Straloch, Pitlurg, and Auchindoir, 
Cairnbarrow, Buckie, and Lesmoir. 

Daach, Sauchin, and Keithock Mill. 
Of Tam of Ruthven owned the will ; 
Balveny, Cults, and Cluny Moir, 
Auchindroin, and many more. 

John Gordon of Scurdargue and Essi:; 
married Margaret, daughter of Sir Pat- 
rick Maitland of Gight, and they had a 
family of three sons — John of Auchleuch- 
ries; William of Tilljtarmont, ancestor of 
Lesmoir and Craig ; and James, who is 
held by many to have been the ancestor 
of the Gordons of Haddo. 

William Gordon, the second son, de- 
signed of Tilly tarmont, married the 
daughter of Sir John Rutherford. Of 
their sons, George succeeded to Tilly tar- 
mont, and Patrick — who married Rachel, 
daughter of Barclay of Towie-Barclay — be- 
came proprietor of Fulziemont (Wheedle- 
mont), and was progenitor of the families 
of Craig, Cairnbrogie, Coclarachie, Tilly- 
angus, Tillychoudie, Ardmeallie, Auchin- 
toull, etc. 

George Gordon of Tillytarmont married 
Isobei, daughter of Bereowald Innes of 
" Meillers," and they had a family of four 
sons — Alexander of Tillyminat, who fell 
at Flodden, and was progenitor of the Gor- 
dons of Prony ; James of Lesmoir ; William 
of Brackley ; and Thomas of " Bowmakel- 

James Gordon, first laird of Lesmoir, 
married Margaret, daughter of Stewart of 



Laithers, and it is argued by several 
authors that lie died in or about 1505 ; as 
also that, three years later, and during 
her son's minority, Mrs Gordon had the 
Castle of Lesmoir erected. This is a mis- 
take, however, as Mr Gordon lived long 
after the date stated, and the castle was 
not erected till about the middle of the 
century. Its builder in all probability was 
the Earl of Huntly. The site selected was 
the hollow between the Tap o' Noth and 
one of the outer spurs of the Buck of the 
Cabrach. The building was of a sub- 
stantial character and strongly fortified, 
being enclosed by a rampart and fosse. 
The Royal Arms were shown upon the 
buildings, which are believed to have been 
extended at a later date. 

Mr Gordon bought land extensively. In 
1521 he was designed of Fotherletter and 
also of Meikle-Coldstone. In 1532 he 
acquired Creechties, in 1536 Fortre, and in 
1537 Carntralzane. Between 1541 and 
1546 his wife, Margaret Stewart, had died, 
as shown by a charter (dated in the latter 
year) to the lands of Earlsfield and Seggie- 
den, wherein Margaret Ogilvy is named as 
his spouse. This lady was a daughter of 
Alexander Ogilvy of Deskford and Find- 
later : and Captain Wimberley, the his- 
torian of the Barclays, inclines to the view 
that she was the widow of Walter Barclay 
of Barclay. Mr Gordon died between 1557 
and 1559. By his marriages he had a 
family of eight sons and four daughters, 
fiom whom descend, among others, the 
Gordons of Birkenburn, Terpersie, Oxhill, 
Leicheston, Dilspro, and Seggieden. 

On 27th March, 1576, George Gordon 
of Lesmoir had a grant from his cousin 
George, Earl of Huntly, of the sunny half 
of Old Merdrum, together with the per- 
petual right of patronage of the church of 
Essie. (Reg. Mag. Sig.) 

Space prevents the detailing of the 
interesting history of this family, which 

was one of the most influential of the 
Gordon Clan, and on which a baronetcy 
was conferred by Charles I. on 2nd Sep- 
tember, 1625. It flourished for a length- 
ened period, and largely extended its 
landed possessions. 

Sir James Gordon, the first baronet, 
married Rebecca Keith, daughter of Keith 
of Ravenscraig, and it was possibly at their 
marriage, in the summer of 1589, that 
James VI. attended at the Craig of 
Inverugie. Besides Lesmoir and Essie, Sir 
James was proprietor of Broadland and 
Troup, which had probably been a part of 
the dowry of his lady. 

Sir James Gordon, eighth laird of Les- 
moir, but the fifth baronet, married Jean, 
only daughter of Sir John Gordon of 
Haddo ; and his grandson, Sir William 
Gordon, the sixth baronet, who married 
Lilias, daughter of Gordon of Carnousie, 
was the last laird of Lesmoir and Essie, 
having sold these lands, about 1736, to 
John Gordon of Wardhouse or to his 
eldest son Arthur Gordon of Law. From 
the last-named the lands were bought 
by Alexander Garioch of Kinstair. 
whose son, George Garioch, succeeded in 
1756. From the Gariochs the lands passed 
to John Grant of Rothmaise, whose trus- 
tees, in 1780, sold them to the Duke of 
Gordon, and they are now the property of 
the Duke of Richmond and Gordon. 

In 1647, the Castle of Lesmoir was be- 
sieged by the Covenanters under General 
David Leslie. A letter written by Leslie 
to the Committee of Estates, dated 
Lesmoir, 27th March, 1647, reports the 
reduction of both Wardhouse and Lesmoir. 
This interesting communication has been 
pointed out by Mr P. J. Anderson and 
Captain Wimberley, and the following 
excerpts are taken from it. Owing to the 
strength of the tower of Lesmoir, to which 
the small garrison had betaken themselves, 
Leslie thought it best " upon a parlye 



offered by the captain to agree with him 
upon conditions that he should yield up 
tlie house and all that therein wes, that 
all the Irish should dye, and his own lyfe, 
with Harthill, the elder, should be spared, 
and they both to be prisoners until] they 
satisfy Church and State." " So I caused 
hang 27 Irish. The captain and Lesmoir, 
with two or three Scottismen, poor sogers, 
more, I have prisoners." 

The captain was Mortimer, and Lesmoir 
was then a mere youth of about 16. He 
died shortly afterwards — probably a pri- 
soner in Edinburgh. Poor John Leith of 
Harthill lived to see further troubles. 

The castle itself has totally disappeared, 
the stones with which it was built having 
been removed to form fences and walls of 
adjacent steadings. The enclosing dyke 
remains, and the moat — as fed from the 
Essachie burn — can still be traced. The 
site is opposite the farm buildings of Mains 
of Lesmoir, and close to the left side of 
the public road leading from Rhynie to 
Cabrach. Some of the castle equipment 
was carried to Craig, but has since dis- 

On the death, in 1837, of Sir Francis 
Gordon, the eighth baronet, an officer of 
the Honourable East Tndia Company, who 
had never married, the baronetcy became 
dormant, and still awaits a claimant. Be- 
fore this, however, the last of the once 
extensive possessions of the family had 
been parted with. 

Captain Douglas Wimberley, of Inver- 
ness, ha3 already published an interesting 
genealogical account of the family, and 
he has prepared a revised monograph, in 
which he has incorporated all the latest 
paiticulars which have been traced. It is 
to be given in Vol. II. of "The House of 
Gordon," about to be published by the 
New Spalding Club. 


An eld, broken, and considerably de- 
cayed tablestone, which formerly stood 
within the area of the old church, bears 
the following inscription round the sides — 

. . NCAN OF MA . . . RUM QVH . . . . E 

The above is commemorative of James 
Duncan in Merdrum, and his wife, Janet 
Lumsden, youngest daughter of John 
Lumsden, eighth laird of Cushnie. The 
date of Mrs Duncan's death is not re- 
corded. The major portion of the centre 
of the stone is taken up with two recum- 
bent figures, doubtless intended to repre- 
sent Duncan and his wife. Both are hold- 
ing shields, covering nearly a third of the 
bodies, on which arms are cut. They are 
now so much defaced that it is almost im- 
possible to trace them. It is probable, how- 
ever, that they are a boar's head erased, 
for Duncan, impaled with two wolves' 
heads couped in chief and an escallop in 
base for Lumsden. Both shields are 
flanked by the initials " I. D." and " I. L." 
An excellent representation of the stone is 
given in " Scottish Notes and Queries " for 
November, 1890. 

Duncan possessed both means and in- 
fluence. He was succeeded by three 
daughters as heirs-portioners — Elizabeth 
or Bessie, who married George Gordon, 
third laird of Coclarachie, a cadet of the 
Gordons of Craig ; Marjory ; and Janet, 
who married the "laird "of Beltie Irvine, 
and, secondly, Abraham Forbes of Black- 
ton," who was fifth son of William, Lord 
Forbes. (Family of Forbes, p. 29 and 
Antiq., I., p. 482.) These three ladies 
had, in 1602, Sasine, on the lands of Mort- 
lich, Corbanchrie, Cokstoun, Jempsone, 
Duncanstoun, New Merdrum, Balnakellie, 
Balthenie, Wester Fowlis, Craigmill, etc. 



(Aberdeen Sasine Register.) Under an 
arrangement, the eldest sister and her hus- 
band, George Gordon, became life-renters 
of Merdrum. Of the children of this 
anion, George, the eldest son, was de- 
signed of Coclarachie, although he died 
before his father, and Alexander, the 
second son, succeeded to the half lands of 
Merdrum, etc. There were two other 
sous, Hew, and William, doctor of medi- 
cine; and a daughter, Marjory. 

James Gordon, son of the above Alex- 
ander Gordon, was a notorious fornicator, 
and besides, was guilty of " contempt of 
the Session of Rynie, drunkenness, relap- 
sing into rebellion with James Grahame, 
and the setting lightly of his father and 
his admouitiounes." 

Interesting particulars regarding these 
families will be found in the New Spal- 
ding Club's 'House of Gordon" under 
" Coclarachie." 


Many members of families bearing the 
nurname of Cran have tombstones, but as 
they nearly all descend from one stem, 
what follows will be more easily under- 
stood than a quotation of the inscriptions. 

The Scottish Crans are probably de- 
scended from the French baronial family 
of " De Craon " or " De Cranno," who 
flourished in the twelfth and thirteenth 
centuries. Certain it is that the family 
obtained a hold in Aberdeenshire about 
1290, but probably the oldest tomb- 
stone inscription to a member is that 
in Fyvie Churchyard (see Fyvie) to Thomas 
de Cranno, vicar of the parish, who died 
in 1489. He is named (View of the 
Diocese) ' ' Sir Thomas Cranno, otherwise 
Vatson " ; but the title had probably been 
applied as a courtesy one, and not as in- 
dicating the order of knighthood. 

In the seventeenth century, the family 
had a large representation in Forgue, 

Drumblade, and Huntly districts. Three 
brothers — James, John, and Robert Cran 
— were tenants of Belhinnie before 1740, 
and the two last-named were subsequently 
in Mains of Lesmoir. 

John Cran, who was born in 1760, had a 
son, Robert, who became tenant of Scur- 
dargue, married Agnes Ingram, and died 
29th August, 1828. Besides two daughters 
—Agnes and Jannet — they had two sons 
— Robert, who succeeded to Scurdargue, 
married Margaret Pirrie, and died 1st 
July, 1873, aged 85 ; and William, tenant 
of Mains of Lesmurdie, Cabrach, who died 
13th March, 1882, aged 77. He married 
Ann Kellas, who survived him, and died 
in 1903, aged 87. Of their family, John 
is the well-known farmer of Kirkton, 
Bunchrew, and founder and managing 
director of the large firm of John Cran 
and Company (Ltd.), Bunchrew and Inver- 
gordon, manufacturers and importers of 
fertilisers and feeding stuffs ; William is 
in Scurdargue ; Robert is in Mains of Les- 
murdie; while James and Alexander are 
medical practitioners in Great Harwood, 
Lancashire. Of the daughters, Ann died 
at Huntly in 1903 ; Agnes was married to 
Rev. George Duthie, U.P. minister of 
Kinkell, Perthshire, and died 26th March, 
1871, aged 24, survived by a son, William 
Cran Duthie, who is now a doctor in Black- 
burn, Lancashire. 

The above Robert Cran in Belhinnie, 
and subsequently in Mains of Lesmoir, who 
was born in 1717, married Agnes Alex- 
ander, and died 16th May, 1797. They 
had a large family, of whom James and 
Robert were in Mains of Lesmoir, John 
became farmer of Templand, and William 
of Farmton. 

The last-named Robert Cran married (1) 
Isobel Mair, and (2) Christian Duncan. Of 
the children of the latter marriage, Jean 
married Robert Troup, Rhynie, and 



Christian married John Cran, also in 

John Cran in Templand, who was born 
in 1758 (he died 2nd November, 1838). 
married (1) Jean Gordon of Bogenclough, 
of the family of Gordon of Birkenburn, 
cadets of the Lesmoir Gordons. They had 
two sons — James and John. The last- 
named, who was born in 1790, married his 
cousin, Christian Cran, of Mains of Les- 
moir, and died in Muir of Rhynie in 1849. 
They had a family of two sons and two 
daughters — John, James, Christian, and 

John Cran, last-mentioned, who was an 
extensive boot manufacturer in Rhynie, 
married Margaret Scott, Bowling; .and 
among their family are John, who is an 
engineer and shipbuilder in Leith ; Agnes; 
Robert, and Alexander, who are in business 
in Aberdeen; and William, who is in 
Sydney, New South Wales. 

The above John Cran, farmer, Temp- 
land, married, secondly, Ann Cruick- 
shank ; and they had a family of six sons 
— William, in Mains of Lesmoir ; Robert, 
who died in Grenada on 26th December, 
1820, aged 24; George, schoolmaster, Ca- 
brach, who died 26th June, 1823, aged 25; 
Peter, who died 16th March, 1824, aged 
23; Alexander, medical practitioner, Kil- 
drummy, and thereafter in Tarland ; and 
James, who married Isabella Grant, be- 
came farmer in Templand and Newseat, 
and died 18th April, 1870, survived by a 

The above Dr Alexander Cran (died 
March 1889) married Margaret Reid 
(died February, 1890), daughter of James 
Reid, Templeton, Kildrummy, and they 
had ten of a family, of whom John is a 
merchant in Portland, Oregon ; James is 
manager of the Bank of British North 
America, Ashcroft, British Columbia ; 
William is a retired farmer ; George, 
M.D., is in practice at Banchory-Ternan ; 

while Robert, M.D., now deceased, prac- 
tised in Assam and subsequently at Bal- 
later. The eldest son, Alexander, and the 
second daughter, Margaret Harper, are 
also deceased. The other daughters are 
Anne Erskine ; Mary, who married Dou- 
gall Christie ; and Isabella, wife of William 
Shepherd, Bellastraid, Dinnet. 

William Cran in Mains of Lesmoir, who 
was born in 1794, married Jannet Cran, 
and died 26th December, 1866, survived 
by a family of whom John is now tenant 
in Mains of Lesmoir. 

William Cran in Farmton, who was born 
16th October, 1760, married Ann Morri- 
son, and died 30th December, 1842, sur- 
vived by a family, of whom Peter was 
farmer at Morlich, Towie. His son, 
George Cran, is the present tenant of Mor- 
lich, and is famous for his herd of Aber- 
deen-Angus cattle. A brother of his is 
Alexander Cran, M.A., Ph.D., Litt.D., of 
Edinburgh High School. 

Another son of William Cran of Farmton 
was John Cran in Glencowie, Towie, whose 
sons were the pioneers of the sugar trade 
in Queensland, Australia. 


Two tablestones have inscriptions as 
under — 


Here lies the dust of John Milne once in 
Newmerdrum, who died October, 1809, aged 57. 
Also his son, William, died May 6th, 1800, aged 
21. . . . 


Here lies the remains of John Milne, for 
many years farmer in New Merdrum, who died 
at Alford, 5th July, 1878, aged 87 years. Also 
of Margaret Thomson, his wife, who died 19th 
June, 1876, aged 79 years. 

A tablestone, which displays various 
mortuary emblems, has the following in- 

Wnder this stone lies interred the remains of 



John Henry, some time in Rumfud, who de- 
parted this life February 7th, 1774, aged 
67. . . . 

The name of the above small holding 
has been altered to Ramfolcl. It is now- 
attached to the farm of Scurdargue. 

Two tablestones are inscribed— 

Here . . . lames Hennderson . . who 
deprted May, 1681. . . . 

Here lies James Henderson who died May 
the 22nd, 1682, and also James Henderson his 
grandson. . . . 

A headstone is inscribed — 

Ercted in memory of Wm. Allardyce, Farmer 
in Belhinnie. who died Nov. 14. 1849, aged 77. 
Also Isobel Allardyce, his spouse, who died 
Sept. 18, 1846. aged 74. 

A tablestone has the undermentioned 
inscription — 

In memory of William Shand, late in Stone- 
dyke, son to William Shand and Jean Laing, 
late in Castlehill — he died Aug. 16th, 1819, aged 
38 years. 

This stone is placed over his grave by Mary 
Dawson, his widow. . . . 


On the summit of the Tap o' Noth, which 
reaches a height of about 1851 feet above 
sea level, and is the most outstanding 
natural feature in the parish, are the 
remains of a "vitrified fort," the origin 
of which has formed the subject of much 
discussion. It is an enclosure somewhat in 
the form of a parallelogram, measuring 150 
yards in length by about 40 yards in 
breadth. The walls, which measure nearly 
20 feet in thickness, are fused about three 
feet inwards from the surface on each side. 
The late Professor George Pirie went care- 
fully into the subject, and had the material 
forming the fort analysed. As a result, he 
was led to the opinion that the stones had 
been gathered in the upper reaches of the 

Don, carried to the top of the hill, and 
then vitrified by the action of heat and the 
potash of the wood employed for the fire. 
When or for what object the fort had been 
constructed it is impossible to say. 

At the foot of the hill is Milldewne (the 
Grave of a Thousand), where formerly were 
many cairns, believed to contain the re- 
mains of those who fell in the battle in 
which Lulach was slain after his attempt 
to secure the Crown of Scotland. On one 
of the cairns being opened a good many 
years ago, a rude stone coffin was found. 


The origin of the name of this parish is 
uncertain. It has undergone various 
changes of spelling — thus, Tulinestin in 
1157, Tulynestyn in 1275, Tholynestyn in 
1375, Tillenessil in 1549, Tullinessill in 
1569, Tillinessle in 1667, Tillynesle in 1756, 
Tullenesle in 1812, and Tullynessle from 
1820 onwards. 

In 1157, Pope Adrian IV. confirmed 
" Tulinestin " with the church and other 
appurtenances to Edward, Bishop of Aber- 
deen. (Reg. Epis. Aberd., I., pp. 6 and 
85.) In 1376, Bishop Alexander erected 
the Parish Church of "Tholynestyn" into 
a prebendal church of the Cathedral of 
Aberdeen — the prebendary being bound to 
provide a perpetual vicar to serve the 
cure of the parish church. This arrange- 
ment continued in force till the Reforma- 

" Tholynestyn " manse and glebe, in Old 
Aberdeen, adjoined the churchyard of Old 
Machar. After being for a time in the 
possession of George Kilgour, they were 
sold, in 1723, to Colonel Middleton for 
700 merks Scots. (Orem, p. 75.) 

The vicarage of the parish was granted 
to King's College and University in the 



reign of James IV., and the vicarage and 
patronage were ratified to the College by 
Parliament in 1(533. In 1769. the College 
sold the right of patronage to the Earl of 

On 22nd July, 1680, upon the occasion of 
a visitation by the Presbytery, the elders 
were Alexander Chalmer in Mongerrie. 
William Stewart in Firrmilne, Arthur Don- 
aldson, James Smith, Patrick Clerihew, 
and William Green. Of money mortified 
for behoof of the poor, there were 450 
tnerks. The fabric of the church was 
found to be entire. Of church utensils, 
there were " a basin for baptisme, two 
tables, a linen cloath for covering the 
same, and two cups of Tiun for the use 
of the Holy Communion." (New Spalding 
Club's "Records of the Exercise of Al- 
ford," pp. 316-17.) 

A new parish church to accommodate 
the united parishes of Tullynessle and 
Forbes, was erected in the graveyard in 
1877. It is built of Syllavethy granite, 
quarried in the parish. 

The belfry of two older churches has 
been preserved intact, and stands on the 
ground to the left of the entrance gate to 
the church. It bears the date 1604, and, 
considering that it has withstood the 
storms of three centuries, is in good pre- 

In the vestibule of the church is a white 
marble cenotaph bearing the following in- 
scription — 

£100 stg. left to the parish of Tullynessle, 
where he was at school, by the late Mr Joseph 
Taylor, of London, who desired that this in- 
scription should be put up as an example to 
others. A.D. 1816. 

Joseph Taylor was a native of the parish 
of Alford, and for a time attended the 
school of Tullynessle. He afterwards 
became a bookbinder in London, and ac- 
quired means. Under his deed of settle- 

ment, he bequeathed, free of legacy duty, 
to the kirk-sessions of Tullynessle and 
Alford £100 each, with direction that the 
interest should be expended at Christmas 
yearly ' ' amongst the most necessitous and 
deserving poor . . . forever." 


Rev. Thomas Strathachin was rector in 


Rev. Hector Boece held the vicarage in 
1528. (Diet. Nat. Bio.) 

Rev. William Cabell was rector, with 
Rev. Peter Hutchison as vicar in 1544. 
The latter was succeeded before 1559 by 
Sir John Ranye. Cabell, however, con- 
tinued to hold the rectorship for a long 
period. On 24th January, 1556-7, he 
granted a tack for nineteen years to Alex- 
ander Leith of Montgarrie, of the teind 
sheaves of that property, including MilHill, 
etc., for payment to the prebendaries of 
' Tullynessil " of 32^ merks Scots yearly. 
In 1559, he was entrusted with the custody 
of 24^ ounces of silver plate belonging to 
the Cathedral of Aberdeen. He appears 
to have experienced the pressure of the 
Reformation movement and its drastic 
changes, as is shown by the wording of a 
tack, dated 27th July, 1562, to James 
Leslie, burgess of Aberdeen, of the whole 
parish teinds, in so far as not previously 
set, for £59 Is 8d. The aged parson 
declared that it was granted to Leslie ' ' in 
speciall respek of his labouris takin for me 
in this tribulus tyme for inbringing of my 
fruttis . . . and in respek of my age 
and inhabilitie of persone." (Whitehaugh 
MS. Chartulary.) 

Rev. John Strathauchin was translated, 
in 1567, from the pastorate of Forvie, 
Slains, and Logie-Buchan, to that of Tully- 
nessle, Kyg, and Towch, with £5 lis l|d of 
stipend, to which he had an augmentation 
of £2 4s 5^d, as from Laminae, 1569. He 



was translated to Alford in November of 
the same year. (Antiq., I., p. 226.) 

Patrick Strathauchin officiated as reader 
at Tullyiiessle, the salary pertaining to the 
office being xx. lib. (Ibid., 228.) He was 
succeeded in the readership by James 
Forbes, son of William Forbes of Keith- 
more. (Lumsden's "Family of Forbes," 
p. 62.) 

Rer. John Kennedy was installed as 
minister before 1572, and he continued in 
office till at least 1583. (Whitehaugh MS. 
Chart.) He is not noticed by Dr Scott. 

Rev. Alexander Guthrie was admitted to 
the charge about 1589. He removed to 
Forbes, and afterwards to Alford, but re- 
turned to Tullyiiessle, continuing till after 

Rev. Andrew Strachan, M.A., was pos- 
sibly the next incumbent, but he removed 
to Kintore about 1647. (See Kintore.) 

Rev. David Swan followed. He joined 
the Protesters, and removed to the parish 
of Tough in 1651. (See Tough.) 

In the following year, Rev. Alexander 
Youngson, M.A., was ordained, but in 1661 
was translated to Rhynie, where he died 
on 26th November, 1678. 

Rev. John "Walker, M.A., was ordained 
successor, in 1662, and, according to Dr 
Scott (Fasti), was alive in 1710, and prob- 
ably held the incumbency for fifty years. 
He married Margaret Gordon, of the Ter- 
persie family. In 1677, she resigned her 
rights over the lands of Warestoun ( ? War- 
rackston) in favour of "James Gordon of 
Delpersie, and his son George." 

A tablestone near the centre of the 
graveyard commemorates the succeeding 
minister thus — 

Sacred to the memory of the Rev. Walter 
Syme, late minister of the gospel at Tillynesle, 
who died in the year 1756. and Elizabeth Gor- 
don, his spouse. 

Rev. Walter Syme, M.A., was a native 
ui Banff, where he was born in 1692. He 

was for some time schoolmaster of Alford, 
and was ordained to the charge of Tully- 
iiessle on 6th March, 1722. He is said to 
have " been possessed of good talents." 
He married, on 1st August, 1722, Eliza- 
beth Gordon, daughter of Rev. James Gor- 
don, for some time minister of Rhynie, 
and proprietor of Chapeltown, Drumblade. 
Of their family, James became tutor to Sir 
Ralph Abercromby, was licensed in 1747, 
and in 1750 was ordained to the charge of 
Alloa. He married Mary, eldest daughter 
of Rev. Mr Robertson, Edinburgh, and 
sister of Dr William Robertson, the his- 
torian ; and the only daughter of this 
union, Eleanor, married Henry Brougham 
of Brougham Hall, Westmoreland, and 
their son became the famous Henry, Lord 
Brougham and Vaux, whose unwearied 
efforts in the cause of popular education 
are gratefully remembered. The other 
children of Mr and Mrs Walter Syme were 
William ; Mary, who, in June, 1786, was 
married to John Dingwall of Rannieston ; 
Margaret, who, in 1751, married Rev. 
Alexander Johnston, minister of Alford, 
and died 16th September, 1802 ; and Isa- 
bella, who was married to Rev. James 
Forsyth, minister of Belhelvie. (See 
Belhelvie.) Mr Syme, on 29th May, 1746, 
married, secondly, Barbara Calder, but 
her name is not recorded upon the tomb- 

Rev. George William Algernon Gordon, 
M.A., son of Rev. Theodore Gordon, min- 
ister of Kennethmont, was ordained to 
Tullyuessle on 3rd October, 1759, but was 
translated to Keith in 1771. He died at 
Linton on 28th May, 1796. (Scots Maga- 
zine.) He married Cecilia Reid, who died 
in April, 1784. They had a son, Theo- 
dore, who became laird of Overhall. 

The succeeding minister was Rev. Alex- 
ander Angus, M.A., son of Rev. John 
Angus, minister of Culsalmoud. He was 
ordained on 29th April, 1772, but, two 



years later, was translated to Botriphnie, 
where he died on 11th April, 1829, in his 
85th year. He married Katharine Mair, 
and one oi' his sons was Dr George Angus, 
of the Bengal Medical Service, who died in 
Aberdeen on 7th April, 187'2, and to whose 
memory his In-other officers in the Bengal 
Medical Service erected a monument ill 
the West Church of St Nicholas, Aberdeen. 
Rev. Francis Leslie, M.A., of the Kinin- 
vie family, was ordained 10th May, 1775, 
but, twelve years later, removed to Rothie- 
may, whence he was afterwards trans- 
lated to Boharm. 

A railed-in space has a wall monument 
to the succeeding incumbent. The inscrip- 
tion is — 

Here is interred the body of the Rev. Andrew 
Marshall, who, after being 25 years minister of 
Tullenesle. died upon the 26th of May, 1812, 
in the 59th year of his age, much lamented by 
his own people and a numerous acquaintance, 
by whom he was beloved. 

Here also are laid the bodies of his ten 
children, who all died young. 

In testimony of warm affection and esteem, 
this is inscribed by his disconsolate widow, 
Mary Grant, the affectionate mother of his 
children, who died at Aberdeen, March 21st, 
1841, aged 78, and was also interred here. 

Rev. Andrew Marshall, M.A., engaged 
for a short time in tutorial work, was 
licensed by the Presbytery of Garioch in 
1778, ordained assistant minister of 
Daviot 13th July, 1786, and inducted to 
Tullynessle 9th August, 1787. He did not 
enjoy robust health, and the death of his 
ten children in early youth proved a severe 
blow, from which lie did not recover. 

A reserved corner space beside the 
churchyard wall has a headstone bearing 
the under-mentioned inscription — 

In memory of the Rev. James Paull, D.D., 
who departed this life on 21st October, 1858, 
in i lm 78th year of his age, and the 54th year 
of his public ministry — 45 of which were spent 

in this parish in the midst of a deeply attached 

Also of his children, Margaret, Robert, and 
Andrew, who all died in infancy. And John 
Alexander Forbes, who died at Peria Chola 
Estate, India, on the 28th January. 1860, in the 
32nd year of his age. 

Also of his widow, Eliza L. Forbes, who died 
23rd June, 1874, aged 73 years. 

Rev. James Paull, M.A., son of James 
Paull, schoolmaster, Drumoak, was for 
some time minister of Greyfriars Church, 
Aberdeen. He was admitted to Tullynessle 
on 24th March, 1813, and received the 
degree of D.D. from the University of St 
Andrews in 1844. He took an active and 
prominent part in Church affairs alike in 
Session, Presbytery, Synod, and General 
Assembly. By the last-named he was 
elected convener of the Supplementary 
Orphan Fund, and by his exertions and 
guiding skill beneficial measures were 
passed. He was elected Moderator of the 
General Assembly of 1846, and six years 
later had the honour of being elected one 
of the Chaplains - in - Ordinary to Her 
Majesty the late Queen Victoria. On 25th 
March, 1822, he married Eliza L. Forbes, 
daughter of John Forbes, West India mer- 
chant, and they had a family of fourteen, 
of whom ten reached majority. Of the 
sons, James was an advocate in Aberdeen, 
and Synod law agent. He died 27th 
February, 1901. William succeeded as 
minister of Tullynessle, as after stated. 
The above John Alexander Forbes met his 
death under tragic circumstances. He had 
gone out carrying a loaded gun and accom- 
panied by a favourite dog. While resting 
he had placed his gun against a bush, and 
unnoticed, the dog had commenced to play 
with it, with the result that it went off 
with fatal effect. 

Rev. William Paull, M.A., son of the 
preceding, was ordained to the charge in 
May, 1858, and for forty-three years dis- 
charged the whole ministerial duties with 



much acceptance. He retired in the 
autumn of 1901, and thereafter resided in 
Aberdeen, where he died on 15th Novem- 
ber, 1905, in his 70th year. He married a 
daughter of the late Dr Stephen, Buch- 
romb, and grand-daughter of the late Rev. 
Alexander Reid, minister of the parish of 
Kildrummy, and they had a family of two 
daughters, and one son, James George 
Paull, advocate, Aberdeen, of the firm of 
Paull and Williamsons. The remains of 
Mr Paull were interred in Allenvale Ceme- 
tery, Aberdeen, where a cross resting on a 
rustic base commemorates him. The in- 
scription is — 

In loving memory of the Reverend William 
Paull. for 47 years minister of the parish of 
Tullynessle and Forbes, who died at Aberdeen 
on the 15th day of November, 1905, aged 69 
years, having retired from the active charge 
of the parish in 1901. 

The present incumbent is Rev. J. Grant 
Forbes, M.A., who was ordained 19th 
December, 1901. 


The Leiths of Montgarrie, Whitehaugh, 
etc., deduce their descent, through the 
family of Barnes, in Premnay, from 
Patrick de Leith, who was in Edingarroch 
in 1120. The first Leith of Barnes who came 
into prominence was probably William 
Leith. who was Provost of Aberdeen in 
1351-55. He is said by Nisbet to have 
married, in 1350, a daughter of Donald, 
twelfth Earl of Mar ; but this has been dis- 
puted. In any case, he possessed consider- 
able wealth, as evidenced by his being pro- 
prietor of several estates, including Ruth- 
rieston, near Aberdeen. He founded the 
Chantry of St Laurence and St Ninian, 
in the church of St Nicholas, Aberdeen, 
and gave to the church two fine bells 
(Laurence and Mary), which were des- 
troyed by the great fire on 9th October, 
1S74. Besides the Leiths of Montgarrie 

and Harthill, he is said to have been the 
common progenitor of the families of 
Leith-hall, Freefield, Glenkindie, Bucharn, 
and Arnage. 

Certain authors design William Leith as 
of Montgarrie as early as 1423, but pos- 
sibly it was not till 1556 that the family 
fully acquired the lands, which they did 
under a feu-charter by the Bishop and 
Chapter of Aberdeen in favour of Alex- 
ander Leith and his heirs or assignees. 
The properties thus conveyed embraced 

" the lands of Montgarie with their pertinents, 
the mill of Montgarie with the multures and 
brewhouse of Montgarie, and the brewhouse 
called Milhill, Croft Crany, and the Dirahouse 
with their pertinents, lying in the barony of 
Tulenessill, the feu-duty for lands of Montgarie 
being £13 6s 8d, one mart, 4 sheep, 4 bolls malt 
with a gallon to each boll, 4 bolls oats with 24 
tame hens, 24 moorfowl, 12 tame geese, 6s 8d for 
bondage, and for grassum 53s 4d yearly ; for the 
mill of Montgarie, etc., 40s, one fed sow, 24 
well fed capons, 24 tamo hens, 6 moorfowl, and 
for grassum 8s ; for the brewhouse of Montgarie 
with Croft Crany and the Dirahouse with tofts 
crofts, etc., of all the same 36s 8d, and for 
grassum 7s 4d, 12 capons. 12 poultry, and 6 
moorfowl ; for Milhill 10s. 24 tame hens, for 
greesum 2s. and for arriages, carriages, and 
other services 6s 8d. . . . and also 13s 4d of 
augmentation. . . . doubling said feu-duty 
at the entry of every heir and giving 3 suits at 
3 head Courts of the Bishop in the Bishop's 
Palace at Old Aberdeen, and the tenants to be 
bound, sufficiently armed according to the 
fashion of the country to serve the Bishop's 
ba i 1 lie in the Queen's armies; and every heir 
attaining lawful age to give oath of fidelity to 
defend the Bishop, the See, the Chapter . . . 
and the Christian and orthodox faith. . . . 
(MS. Chart ulary.) 

Additional lands were acquired at 
various times. 

The above Alexander Leith married 
Elizabeth or Bessie Gray, and their ini- 
tials, with those of John Leith and his 
wife, Beatrice Middleton, are preserved 



upon a coat of arms bearing the date 1588. 
and the motto " Trev to the end." 

Within the ancient Temple Glen, near 
the mansion-house of Whitehaugh, are a 
private chapel and mausoleum (recon- 
structed 1842), in which are interred the 
remains of many members of the family 
Numerous tablets and memorials have 
been erected within, one of the oldest 
being a tablet which formerly stood in the 
wall of the old church of Keig, but was 
removed thence many years ago. It has at 
the top the legend " Trev to the end," 
below which are coats of arms flanked by 
the initials A. L. and B. G. An inscrip- 
tion in Latin follows, which, translated 
into English, is — 

Sacred to God, the Best and Greatest, and to 
the good memory of Alexander Leith of Mont- 
garie. his great-grandfather, who died A.D., 
1597, above 80 years of age ; of Bessie Gray, his 
great-grandmother; of Patrick and William, 
end the other children of the foresaid. As also 
of Beatrice Middleton, grandmother of Alex- 
anil r Leith. and of her daughter and other 
children. Also of Christian Nicolson, his 
mother-in-law, and of her infant daughter, 
Isobel Leith, of ali of whom the mortal re- 
mains rest here in the hope of a blessed re- 

John Leith of Montgarie, great-grandson cf 
the foresaid Alexander, caused this monument 
to be erected, A.D., 1655. 

Alexander Leith and Bessie Gray had a 
family of at least three sons — Patrick ; 
William, who married Elizabeth — some- 
times called Isobel — daughter of Patrick 
Forbes of Corse, and died before 1599, 
leaving no male issue ; and John, who suc- 
ceeded as heir to his brother William. He 
married Jean Mortimer, and died on 6th 
May, 1637, as shown by a tombstone which 
was in the Chantry referred to. The in- 
scription is — 

Here lyes an honest man, Iohn Leith of 
Mongerrie, who departed the 6th day of May, 
1637, who is linealy descended of The Right 
Honourable William Leith of Barnes, burges 

and Provest of Aberdeen in the year 1352. Here 
lyes Mr William Leith, law-full son to George 
Leith of Thriefield, linealy descended of the 
forsaid Barnes who departed the 30th day of 
June. 1702, and of his age the 51 year. As also 
Charles Leith, son to the said Mr William Leith. 

In 1613, John Leith had a grant from 
the town of Aberdeen of the lands of 
Countesswells, Gardyn or Gairn, and 
Brotherfield, all in the parish of Peter- 

In 1614, Patrick Leith, eldest son of 
John Leith, married Christian Nicolson, 
eldest daughter of Thomas Nicolson, Com- 
missary of Aberdeen. She died before 
August, 1619. After October of that year, 
Patrick Leith married, as his second wife, 
Anna Forbes, daughter of the deceased 
Abraham Forbes of Blacktown, and grand- 
daughter of William, Lord Forbes. Their 
names are recorded upon two monuments 
as under — 

One — now much defaced — has at the top 
a coat of arms, flanked by the initials P. L. 
The legend "Trev to the end" is also 
shown. Underneath is the inscription in 
Latin, which, in English, reads — 

Sacred to God the Best and Greatest and to 
the good memory of Patrick Leith of Montgarie, 
who in the turbulent times of Civil Wars, by an 
innocent life, excellent conduct, blameless in- 
tegrity, beloved of all good men, in peace com- 
pleted his mortal life, whose bodily remains here 
await a blessed resurrection. 

Anna Forbes, his surviving wife, has erected 
this monument to her late dearly beloved hus- 

Born in the year 158-, ninth of month of 
June, ho died in the year 1641, sixteenth 

The other bears — 

This is bvildt by Anna Forbes in memory of 
her husband, Patrick Leith of Mvngary. who 
departed this lyfe anno 1641. 

Underneath is a semi-circle, round the 
edge of which are the mottoes — 
Grace me gvyd. 
In hope I BYD, 



In the centre three stags' heads are 
shown, along with the initials A. F., for 
Anna Forbes. 

John Leith, son of Patrick Leith and 
Anna Forbes, succeeded to the estates. In 
the monument erected by him to his 
ancestors in 1655 he followed a not un- 
common usage in designating his step- 
mother, Christian Nicolson, as his 
" mother-in-law." He died before 1672. 

John Leith, son of the preceding, suc- 
ceeded, and married Elizabeth, daughter of 
William, eleventh Lord Forbes. Their 
daughter and heiress Anne, in 1706, 
married William Forbes of Tolquhon (he 
was the lineal descendant of the brother 
of the first Lord Forbes — i.e., Sir John 
Forbes, who, through his marriage, in 
1420, to Mariot, the widowed daughter and 
one of the two heiresses of the deceased Sir 
Henry Preston, Lord of Fermartyn, got 
with her one-half of the lordship of Fer- 
martyn, which embraced the lands and 
fortalice of Tolquhon, and became the 
progenitor of the Forbeses of Tolquhon. 
Culloden, Ballogie, Foveran, Waterton, 
etc.), who. unfortunately, allowed himself 
to become pecuniarily involved with design- 
ing persons, who, not content with suddenly 
foreclosing and securing powers from the 
Court of Session to sell his fine old castle 
and estate, actually sent a band of soldiers 
to evict him from Tolquhon ! He died on 
4th April, 1728, in his 42nd year, and was 
buried in Westminster Abbey. 

William Forbes-Leith. the elder son, 
became curate of Binsay, and subsequently 
vicar of Thornbury. John Forbes Leith, 
the second son, succeeded to Whitehaugh, 
Montgarrie, etc., and became by the death 
of his elder brother without issue, the 
representative of the family of Tolquhon. 
He married Jane, eldest daughter of 
Theodore Morison of Bognie. Particulars 
of the improvements effected by him on 
his estates are given in the New Statistical 

Account of Scotland under " Tullynessle 
and Forbes." He is commemorated by a 
monument, which has a Latin inscription. 
In English it is — 

John Forbes Leith directed this monument to 
be erected for himself and his family in the year 
1781. His sons William and Theodore Forbes 
Leith erected it in 1782. 

William Forbes Leith, elder son of the 
preceding, succeeded. He was educated 
at King's College, Aberdeen, and subse- 
quently studied civil law. He died un- 
married in the spring of 1806. 

Dr Theodore Forbes Leith, as the next 
surviving brother, succeeded. He had an 
excellent medical practice in Greenwich, 
and was noted for his personal strength 
and courage. He married Marie d'Arboine, 
a French lady of ancient family. 

A white marble monument stands to his 
memory, with an inscription thus — 

Theodore Forbes Leith, Esq., M.D., F.R.S., 

of Whitehaugh, who departed this life Sept- 
ember 16, 1819, aged 74. 

A kind and indulgent husband, an affectionate 
father, and the benevolent friend of all man- 

Theodore Forbes Leith, the eldest son of 
Dr Forbes Leith, died young, and James 
John Forbes Leith, the immediate younger 
brother, succeeded. He was for a long 
period an officer in the Honourable East 
India Company's service, retiring in 1826 
with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. 
On 28th November, 1827, he married 
Williamina Helen, ouly child of Lieut. - 
Colonel James Stewart, 42nd Highlanders. 

A small stone below the west window has 
a plate, with an inscription to them thus — 

Colonel James John Forbes Leith of White- 
haugh left this world on Friday, 24th Septo n- 
ber, 1841 ; and Williamina Helen Stewart 
Forbes Leith, his beloved wife, on Friday, 12th 
October, 1866. United in death as in life. The 
remains of both repose within this shell, and 
may the humble hope of a glorious resurrection 
be truly realised in the blessed rise of both 



together to the united enjoyment in soul and 
body of immortal happiness through the merits 
of a Crucified Redeemer. That faithful 
affection of the heart for each other, and that 
devoted love for their 8 dutiful and attached 
children was theirs. To whom the Saviour 

A few short years of evil past, 
Ye reach the happy shore, 
Where death divided friends at last. 
Shall meet to part no more. 

Colonel and Mrs Forbes Leitli had a 
family of fire sons and three daughters. 
An obelisk, with cross on the top, and 
standing on a triple base, bears inscrip- 
tions to several of them — 

To the glory of God, and the cherished 
memory of James, eldest son of James John 
and Williamina Helen Stewart Forbes Leith 
of Whitehaugh. Born 10th December, 1828; 
died 12th May, 1875. His noble character, 
most sweet disposition, and generous, tender 
heart endeared him to all. His life was spent 
in striving to benefit and make others happy; 
his irreparable loss is ever mourned by his 
sister, Williamina Stewart, widow of W. J. 
Lumsden of Balmedie. 

Blessed are the pure in heart, 
For they shall see God. 

The upper base bears — 

W. S. L. desires that this monument should 
record also the lives of their beloved and 
honoured parents, James John Forbes Leith of 
Whitehaugh, Lieut.-Colonel H.E.I.C.S., born 
25th October. 1778; died 24th September, 1841. 
And Williamina Helen Stewart, his cherished 
wife, only child of James Stewart, Colonel 42nd 
R.H. Black Watch, and of Williamina Kerr, 
his wife. Born 22nd April, 1804; died 12th 
October, 1866. They were married 28th Novem- 
ber, 1827. Their bodies are laid side by side 
in the raised coffin in the centre of this build- 

The second base is inscribed — 

And of her beloved sisters and brother. 

Helen Maria, their 2nd daughter, born 1st 
December, 1831, married R. W. Rickart Hep 
burn of Rickarton, 25th November, 1851; died 
1st March, 1881. Adelaide Isabella, their 3rd 

daughter, born 7th November, 1837; married 
A. B. Fyers, Lieut-Colonel R.E. 31st Decem- 
ber, 1872; died 22nd November, 1874. And 
Henry Stewart, their 4th son, born 2nd March, 
1836 ; died 25th February, 1853. 

We sorrow not for them all as if we had no 
hope, for we believe that them which sleep in 
Jesus will God bring with Him. 

A brass plate has the following inscrip- 
tion to the third son — 

To the glory of God and in loving memory 

of Thomas Augustus, third son of Colonel 

James John and Williamina Helen Stewart 
Forbes Leith of Whitehaugh. 

Born 25th August, 1834. 
Died 8th December, 1896. 
A large brass cenotaph, framed in oak, 
is inscribed to the fourth son thus — 

Henry Stewart Forbes Leith (fourth son of 
Colonel James John and Williamina Helen 
Stewart Forbes Leith) of Whitehaugh was born 
on the 2nd March, 1836, and tenderly reared 
there ; and on the 25th of February. 1853, soon 
after his arrival in Australia, he fell a victim 
to the climate of Forest Creek, and died 
universally beloved for his many virtues and 
amiable disposition, which will ever endear his 
name in this spot where he spent the happiest 
years of his short life. This tribute of affection 
to his cherished memory is raised by his sorrow- 
ing mother at the earnest request of his 
youngest brother, Charles Edward. 

A brass has been erected to the fifth 
son — 

To the glory of God and the dear memory 
of Charles Edward, fifth son of Colonel James 
John and Williamina Helen Stewart Forbes 
Leith of Whitehaugh. 

Born 18th October. 1839. 
Died 6th October, 1891. 

The chapel baptismal font is of white 
marble, and consists of a shell sitting on 
base and held by an angel. It is in- 
scribed — 

To the glory of God and the fair and dear 
memory of Helen Maria and Adelaide Isabella, 
this font is erected by their sister, Williamina 
Stewart, and the only child of each Helen and 
Amelia Adelaide Williamina Helen. 



The righteous shall shine forth as the sun in 
the kingdom of their Father. 

A small brass plate is inscribed — 

To the glory of God and the cherished 
memory of a father and mother, Colonel James 
John and Williamina Helen Stewart Forbes 
L«ith, these west and east windows were erected 
by W. S. L. and H. R, H. 1892. 

The present proprietor is Rev. William 
Forbes Leith, M.A., Oxon, vicar of Wattis- 
ham, Suffolk. He and his sister, William- 
ina Stewart, widow of W. J. Lumsden of 
Balmedie (see Belhelvie), with their two 
nieces, Helen Rickart Hepburn and 
Amelia Adelaide Williamina Helen Fyers, 
are the only surviving representatives of 
the family of Colonel James John Forbes 


The lands of Terpersie — otherwise 
named Terperci, Tirepressy, Tyrpressy, 
Tarpersie, Dalpersie, Dulpersie, and Der- 
persie — with those of Warrackston, Boggy- 
sballoch, etc., belonged in early times to 
the Bishopric of Aberdeen. About 1390, 
the Bishop was called upon to vindicate 
his rights on account of the Knight of 
Forbes claiming a portion of the lands of 
"Tirepressy" called '• Lurgyndaspok, that 
is to say the Bishopis Leg." The pleadings 
of the Bishop were ingenious. The first 
plea was that it was unlikely that such a 
name would have been given had the land 
not been the Bishop's. " Item Tirepressy 
is and ay has been twa dauach of land " 
(832 acres Scotch), and were the land that 
Forbes claims deducted from it "the lave 
war nocht a dauach and a half," where- 
fore his claim is not like to be " richtwise." 
. . Item, Sir John Broun, Knight, held 
- Tirepressy " of the Bishop and the Kirk 
of Aberdeen, and had then his " shepcotis 
and schephirdis housis" upon the land in 

On 7th August, 1428, Bishop Henry let 
" Tyrpressy " to John Clark and his 
helpers, during the lifetime of Clark, for 
eight merks yearly, with services, and the 
erecting of " an honest house in which the 
Bishop might be lodged for one night 
yearly." It was further stipulated that a 
garden, planted with trees, should be pro- 
vided. This was the origin of the Bishop's 
summer residence in the parish. 

In 1556, Bishop William, with consent of 
the chapter, disposed of the lands, by way 
of feu, to William Gordon, one of the 
eight sons of James Gordon, first laird of 
Lesmoir. (See Essie.) Four years earlier 
Gordon had acquired from George, Earl of 
Huntly, the lands of Toldow, Brachlie, 
Ballantober, Ballantorre, etc., in the lord- 
ship of Aboyne. (Records of Aboyne, p. 
78.) He possessed considerable means, 
and after acquiring Terpersie lost no time 
in erecting on it a castle capable of accom- 
modating his family and at the same time 
withstanding the ordinary attacks of a foe. 
The site selected was in a secluded valley 
almost surrounded by the hill of Correen, 
and about a mile to the west of the old 
military road leading to Alford across the 
Suie Hill from the north. The castle 
consists of a main building, with two 
round towers at opposite corners, but sub- 
sequent additions have altered the original 
arrangement. The date 1561 is upon a 
label under one of the loops of the old hall 
stair, and the letter G is also shown. The 
boar's head of the family arms is carved 
over the first floor window. The building 
was originally surronnde'd by a moat, the 
water to which was got from the Esset 
Burn, flowing past. Billings, and Mac- 
gibbon and Ross give two views of the 
castle in their respective works, but as 
farm buildings surround the structure, its 
appearance is greatly spoiled. It is now 



William Gordon appears to have been 
twice married, (1) to Margaret Ogilvy, 
daughter of the laird of Dunlugas, and (2) 
to Elspet, daughter of George Gordon of 
Tilphoudie, and widow of John Forbes of 
Brux. (Records of Aboyne, p. 201.) He 
took part in the battle of Corrichie in 1562, 
and in October, 1571, was at the clan 
battle of Tillyangus, where he slew " Black 
Arthur," brother of Lord Forbes. He was 
then under the command of Adam Gordon 
of Auchindoun, whom he accompanied to 
Aberdeen, and assisted in the battle of 
Crabstane, which was fought in the follow- 
ing month. For those exploits he was pro- 
scribed, and died in the house of Rannes. 
his remains being interred in Rannes' Aisle 
in the Parish Church of Rathven. 

The lands having been restored to the 
family, George Gordon, son of the preced- 
ing, succeeded, and is understood to have 
married Miss Ogilvie of Inverquharitie. 
Their eldest son, William, became third 
laird, and was alive as late as 1667. He 
married a daughter of Gordon of Leiches- 
ton, and suffered considerable persecution, 
including the burning of the castle by the 
troops of General Baillie in 1645. 

Alexander Gordon, eldest son of William 
Gordon, died before his father, unmarried, 
and James Gordon, the second son, thus 
became fourth laird of Terpersie. He and 
his lady, Anna Gordon, daughter of John 
Gordon of Craig, and of his wife Jean, 
daughter of Sir James Gordon of Lesmoir, 
Bart., are commemorated by two large flat 
stones lying on the ground in the church- 
yard of Tullynessle. The probability is 
that these, and a still older stone lying 
alongside, had originally been within an 
aisle connected with an older parish 
church, as it is known that the earlier 
Gordons of Terpersie buried in the church. 
The words of the inscription are consider- 
ably contracted, while manv of them 

are much defaced. The following may 
still be made out — 










• D • THE ■ NAKED ' CLAD ■ ALSO ■ NON ■ H ■ 








■ IN • SHE xxxxxxxxxxx 
BLEST ' DID • DY ■ 1672. 

(In this space are emblems of a sand-glass, 
coffin, skull, and cross-bones, with the words 
Memento Mori underneath.) 




3hx • am • sihx • crairnvdaa • o 

This inscription is a curiosity, there be- 
ing no attempt to present the poetry in 
lines. The comparison of the lady to 
Pytho — the Greek for Pythoness — the 
priestess of Apollo, who gave oracular 
answers; to Pallas, the goddess of wis- 



doin among the Greeks; and to Juno, the 
guardian of the national finances of Italy, 
is sufficiently exaggerated flattery. 

Anna Gordon was excommunicated for 
Popery before 1663, and four years later 
her name, with that of her father-in-law, 
William Gordon of Terpersie, was given up 
in Tullynessle as that of a papist. (New 
Spalding Club's " Records of the Exercise 
of Alford," pp. 17 and 102.) 

The older stone, split through the centra, 
lying alongside appears to be part of a 
monument. Near the top is the word 
Voman, below which is a large shield, 
doubtless intended for a coat of arms, but 
it remains uncut. The remainder of the 
inscription follows: — 



Q V H A 



The inscription probably dates earlier 
than 1650. 

George Gordon, son of the above James 
Gordon, and of his wife Anna Gordon, suc- 
ceeded to Terpersie. He married Anne, 
sister of Sir Alexander Burnett of Craig- 
myle, and their son Charles was the next 
proprietor. Unfortunately, he took up 
arms for Prince Charles, and was out iu 
the '-15. After the battle of Culloden he 
returned to the neighbourhood of his own 
home, but lay in concealment on the hills. 
One night, however, on venturing into the 
castle, a band of soldiers, who apparently 
had received information as to his move- 
ments, surrounded the building, and took 
him prisoner. Tradition asserts that he 
had been skilfully disguised, and as he 
denied his identity, proof on the point be- 
came necessary. He was taken before the 
parish minister, who discreetly evaded the 
questioning, and he was then carried to the 
farm house, where his wife and children had 

taken up their temporary residence. On 
being seen by the children, some of them 
greeted him with the cries of "Daddy! 
Daddy! " This was sufficient, for he was 
at once hurried off to Carlisle, put through 
a form of trial, condemned, and there 
executed on 15th November, 1746. 

A letter written by the unfortunate laird 
to his wife the day before his execution is 
printed in the Scottish History Society's 
" Lyon in Mourning," and manifests much 
deep feeling and tender solicitude for the 
welfare of his family. The following are 
extracts from it : — 

Dear Heart, — I now tell you that I suffer 

death to-morrow for my duty to God, my king, 

and country. I bless God I die in charity to 

all men. I think my butchered body will be 

taken care of and buried as a Christian . . 

I die with the greatest regret that I've been a 

bad husband to you, and I beg you'll pardon 

me in your heart, and that you'll express your 

goodness (as you'll answer to God and me in 

the everlasting world) by your care of and 

motherly-looking to your children's salvation 

and right putting them to business in this 

world. I know not how many are alive; only 

set the bouys to some right imployment while 

young, and strive to admonish the daughters in 

the fear of God My dearest , if 

I should write till my life ends I would still 

have something to say. But to stop that, I 

end with my dying blessing to you, and my 

poor mother, if alive. Your last from your 

unfortunate husband. 

Cha. Goedon. 

Mrs Gordon was Margaret Gordon, and of 
the sons, Charles — who is sometimes called 
James — was out with his father in the '45, 
served as a lieutenant in the Jacobite 
Artillery, was captured at Carlisle, re- 
moved to London, tried at Southwark, 
found guilty, and condemned to death. 
While awaiting execution he submitted a 
petition craving the King's clemency on 
the ground (1) that, in September, 1745, 
while at school, and abo\it the age of 15, 
he was seized and forcibly carried into the 

V. 2 



rebellion by a party of Highlanders, and 
(2) that, on being carried to Edinburgh 
and there finding his father engaged in 
the service of the rebels, he himself joined, 
ratlter for the sake of taking care of his 
father, who was aged and infirm, than 
from principle or inclination. ... A 
reprieve was fortunately granted — Cap- 
tain Wimberley stating, however, that it 
was subject to James's going to the West 
Indies. It is believed that he went to 
Jamaica and made money. Another son, 
Henry, became a captain in the Royal 
Marines. There were also two daughters, 
Margaret and Helen, who, for a time after 
their father's capture, were obliged to 
board in disguise with poor cottars to 
avoid the violence of Cumberland's sol- 
diers. The last-named, who was a great 
beauty, married George Cattanach in 
Bridgend of Mossat, Kildrummy. 

The estate of Terpersie was forfeited, 
and with the other confiscated properties 
was purchased by the York Buildings 
Company. It was afterwards acquired by 
James Gordon, a reputed descendant of 
the old family, who was a prosperous mer- 
chant in the island of St Kitts, in the "West 
Indies, and died in 1770. He was suc- 
ceeded by his brother Colonel Henry 
Gordon, who, dying in 1787, was followed 
by hia second son Harry Gordon of 
Knockespock, who died in October, 1837, 
aged 75. Terpersie and Knockespock 
then fell to James Adam Bremner, who 
assumed the surname and arms of Gordon. 
He was grandson of Mr Whitbread, M.P., 
and great-grandson of Margaret, eldest 
sister of James Gordon, of St Kitts, wife 
of James Bremner, farmer in Towie of 
Clatt. He died in 1854, when the estates 
fell to Sir Henry Percy Gordon, Bart., 
great-grandson of Barbara, youngest 
sister of the above James Gordon, of St 
Kitts, through her marriage with William 
Grant. Their son, who was a captain in 

the navy, substituted the surname of Gor- 
don for that of Grant, and his eldest son, 
General James Willoughby Gordon, who 
was created a baronet in 1818, was the 
father of the above Sir Henry, who, dying 
29th July, 1876, was succeeded by Hannah 
Gordon, daughter of Harry Gordon, the 
last proprietor of that name, and wife of 
Admiral William Abdy Fellowes, whose 
son, Mr H. G. Fellowes Gordon, is now 
proprietor of both Terpersie and Knockes- 

Further particulars regarding these 
families will be found in the New Spald- 
ing Club's " House of Gordon," I., pp. 
46-49, etc. ; Temple's " Fermartyn," p. 
103 ; Captain Wimberley's " Notes on the 
Family of Gordon of Terpersie" ; " Scot- 
tish Notes and Queries," November, 1900 ; 
and Anderson's " Scottish Nation," II., 
pp. 321-22. 


In early times the parochial scholastic 
arrangements were of a primitive char- 
acter, but within a century after the Re- 
formation the local Presbytery took action 
to effect an improvement. In 1667, a com- 
mittee of Presbytery visited the parish 
school and sharply rebuked the school- 
master " for suffering "his schollers to wear 
amies. " Before July, 1680, the school 
buildings had become ruinous, as there was 
then neither " schoole nor schoolmaster for 
the tyme " — the minister being appointed 
to deal with the heritors to settle a pro- 
vision for a schoolmaster, and to use legal 
diligence with that object, if need be. 

The names of two successful school- 
masters are mentioned on monuments in 
the graveyard. 

A headstone in an enclosure bears — 
In Memoriam, James Smith, A.M., Preacher 
of the Gospel, for xxxvi years Schoolmaster of 
this parish. Died 27th December, 1861, aged 



63 years. His daughters Elizabeth died 21st 
March, 1847, aged 14 months. Mary Paull died 
21st Aug.. 1859. aged 10 years. Jane Elizabeth 
died 21st October. 1866, aged 19 years. His son 
William Alexander died 1st November. 1868, 
aged 17 years His Widow Jane Robertson 
died 11 June. 1887. aged 70 years. 

Rev. James Smith was the son of Alex- 
ander Smith. Mill of Ardoyne, and a direct 
descendant of Patrick Smith, tenant of 
that mill in 1674, and a brother of William 
Smith, Mill of Tiftie (father of "Mill o' 
Tittie's Annie"), of Robert Smith of 
Smiddieburn, of James Smith in Meikle 
Fetterletter, of Nathaniel Smith, Burgess 
of Aberdeen, and of John Smith, laird of 
Inveramsay, Baillie of Aberdeen. (See 
Pyvie.) Mr Smith, who was a much res- 
pected teacher, married Jane, daughter of 
James Robertson, farmer, Braehead ; 
Oairaie. Of their family, three sons sur- 
vive — James Smith, manager of an exten- 
sive carting contractor's business in Peter- 
head ; Rev. Hugh MacConnach Smith, 
M.A.. who on 23rd February, 1888, was 
ordained as assistant and successor to the 
now deceased Rev. Robert Fairweather, 
minister of the parish of Nigg, Kincardine- 
shire : and George Smith, who is connected 
with the firm of Taylor and Henderson, 
lithographers, etc., Aberdeen. 

A headstone records — 

Erected by Rev. Jas. M"C. Pithie, M.A., 
Schoolmaster in this parish for 38 years, in lov- 
ing memory of his wife Mary Lawrie, who died 
in 1903. aged 67 years. And their sons James 
died at Sydney, Australia, in 1885, aged 23, 
John died at Montreal, Canada, in 1890, aged 
25. And Alexander died at Montreal in 1894. 
aged 25. Also their daughter Helen Drimmie 
died in 1903, aged 41. 

Rev. James M'Christie Pithie is a son 
of the late John Pithie, master carpenter, 
Montrose. While engaged in teaching he 
managed to attend the necessary sessions 
at King's College, finally graduating M.A 

in 1859. In the same year he was ap- 
pointed headmaster of Dr Bell's School, 
Aberdeen, but in 1862 became parochial 
schoolmaster of Tullynessle. About 1864, 
he was licensed by the Presbytery of 
Alford. He adhered to the teaching pro- 
fession, however, and after 49 years' 
service in it (38 of which were spent at 
Tullynessle) he retired on 31st March, 1900. 
As schoolmaster, elder, and session clerk 
he has done excellent service in the parish, 
but this last office he has relinquished since 
taking up his residence at Bridge of Alford. 
Four of his sons survive — Edward, marine 
engineer; Henry S., wholesale druggist; 
Frederick, marine engineer ; and Frank, 


A tablestone which displays various 
mortuary emblems and on a scroll " Re- 
member Death " has the following inscrip- 
Here lyes John Mackie sometime farmer in 
Crookmore who died the fifth of June, 1769, 
aged 35 years. 

Done by the care of Elizabeth Allan his 

Also the said Elizabeth Allan who died 11 
Jany., 1822, aged 81. 

An old tablestone bears — 

Her lyes Daued Laing laful son to the desest 
John Laing who died July 5th, 1764, aged 31 
years. He was farmer in Reekie in Alford. 

A monument is inscribed — 

The Family burying-ground of James Thom, 
Redhouse, Tullynessle. 

In memory of his daughter Mary who died 
17 October, 1880, aged 6 years and 9 months. 
Also his brother Alexander Thom, who was 20 
years Grieve in the service of Queen Victoria, 
and who died 12th Nov., 1895, aged 65 years. 

James Thom, who erected the above 
monument, was for long a respected elder 
in Tullynessle Parish Church. He died on 
26th December, 1905, aged 82. His 



brother Alexander was for twenty years 
a much trusted servant in the employment 
of Her Majesty the late Queen Victoria. 

A tablestone with various funereal repre- 
sentations bears the inscription — 

Here lyes Georg Matheson in Greenhou, who 
died Feb 29, 1770, aged 55, and his daughter 
Jannet who died March 20, 1770. aged 17. 

Don by the cear of his spous Ispbal Dasson 
and two of hir children John and Margrat 

A cross bears the following inscription — 

Sacred to the memory of John limes, In- 
spector of Poor, who died at Montgarrie 24th 
August. 1871, aged 76 years. 

Also his son John James Innes, M.A., late 
teacher, Banchory Ternan, who died at sea on 
his way to South Africa, 4th April, 1881, aged 
27 years. Also his wife Jane Farquharson, 
who died at Aberdeen, 24th July, 1882, aged 73 

"Yet will I remember thee." 

John Innes was for many years Inspector 
of Poor for the parish. He was recognised 
as a shrewd, all-round business man. His 
son was an excellent teacher, and would 
have taken a high place in the profession. 
Bad health obliged him to leave Banchory- 
Ternan for South Africa, but he died at sea 
as above. 

A headstone showing an anchor at the 
top and the date 1883 has the following 

In memory of Archibald Comfort, who died 
at Whitehaugh, 26th Jan., 1882, aged 24 years. 

Erected by his brothers. 

And of their mother, Mary M'Lean. Died 
23rd Jan., 1901, aged 83 years. Also of their 
father Abraham Comfort who was Head 
Gardener at Whitehaugh for 34£ years. Died 
15 Oct., 1903, aged 89 years. 

Abraham Comfort, who belonged to 
Kingston-on-Thames, was an experienced 
horticulturist and a prize-winner at all the 
impoitant flower shows in the north. His 
Bervices as a judge were in keen demand. 

A record of 34.^ years as principal in one 
situation is an ample certificate of both 
character and ability. The same appoint- 
ment is now held by his son James. 

A headstone, bears — 

Sacred to the memory of David Taylor. 
forty-five years an honest and trustworthy ser- 
vant of the family of Haughton in this County. 
Died 18 Novr., 1878. aged 84 years. Also 
Catherine Leslie or Taylor his second spouse. 
Died 25 Novr., 1877, aged 72 years. 


At an early date the order of Knights 
Templars, which was superseded by that of 
the Knights Hospitallers or Knights of St 
John of Jerusalem, had a settlement in the 
parish. The romantic Temple Glen within 
the policies of Whitehaugh and fields on 
that estate bearing the titles of Temple 
Close and St John's Close perpetuate the 
record of the connection. 

Near the Don and in close proximity to 
Montgarrie is the site of the camp in which 
General Baillie and his troops lodged the 
night before the battle of Alford, in which 
they were defeated by Montrose. 

Particulars of ancient stone circles and 
much general information connected with 
the parish are given in the article drawn 
up by Rev. Dr James Paull and printed 
in the New Statistical Account of Scot- 
land under " Tullynessle and Forbes.*' 
Extracts from the minutes of court of the 
barony of Whitehaugh for the years 1686- 
87 are given in Vol. V. of the Miscellany 
of the Spalding Club. They afford accu- 
rate information as to the old holdings 
and their respective tenants. 

The name of the parish finds a place in a 
local rhyme, composed on the itinerant 
minister who preached incessantly from I 
Kings, xvii., 8-16 — Elijah's miracle of the 



widow's barrel of meal wasting not nor 
her cruse of oil failing — 

Up by Tough an' roun' by Towie, 
'Twas aye the wifie an' her bowie ; 
An' doun by Keig an' Tullynessle, 
'Twas still the wifie an' her vessel! 


The origin of the title of this ancient 
parish cannot now be given with certainty, 
but, as pointed out by Sir Bernard Burke, 
it gave the surname to the progenitor of 
Lord Forbes, who owns the lands of Forbes. 

A church was erected at an early date, 
and had probably been dedicated to the 
Nine Maidens, as, according to Bishop 
Forbes, their story is located here. 

Bishop Henry Cheyne, in 1325, erected 
the church of Forbes into a prebend of the 
Cathedral of St Mary and St Machar of 
Aberdeen. (Reg. Epis. Aberd., II., 252.) 
The prebendary had a " manse, yard, and 
gleib " assigned to him in Old Aberdeen, 
while the ministerial duties at Forbes were 
performed by subordinates. 

In 1436, Sir Alexander Forbes of that 
Ilk, Knight, gave an annual rent of twelve 
rnerks from his lands of Asbachlach and 
Lastrody, and from the mill of Ardgaich, 
in the barony of Forbes, to a chaplain per- 
forming religious services in the Parish 
Church of Forbes for the souls of the 
granter and of Elizabeth of Douglas, his 
wife. (Ibid., I., p. 293.) 

In 1618, the Commissioners for the 
Plantation of Kirks - declared that the 
" Chaple of Kearne " was " onlie ane 
pendicle of the Kirk of Forbes and hes 
neuir bene ane seuerall paroche kirk ' ' ; 
and in respect thereof, and of "the 
meanenes of the teindis fruitis and rents " 
of Kearne, the Commissioners united the 
' ' foirsaid Chaple of Kearne ' ' to the Kirk 

of Forbes. It was not till 8th August, 
1722, however, that the actual annexation 
took place, when Rev. Stephen Oliver, for 
four years previously minister of Forbes, 
was admitted to the united charge of 
Forbes and Kearn. The new arrangement 
continued in force till about 1807, when, 
on the translation of the incumbent, Rev. 
Benjamin Mercer, effect was given to an 
Act of Assembly which had been passed 
about 1795. This Act was, in reality, the 
order of the Commissioners for the Planta- 
tion of Kirks, and was dated 4th July, 
1792. Under it, Kearn was disjoined from 
Forbes and annexed to Auchindoir, while 
Forbes itself was practically suppressed and 
annexed to Tullynessle. This was a sen- 
sible arrangement, for evidence exists that 
Forbes was a poor living and unable to 
keep abreast of neighbouring parishes. 
On the occasion of a visitation by the 
local Presbytery on 13th June, 1683, 
it was found (1) that there was no 
mortification for the use of the poor ; 
(2) that there was no school (master), 
in regard the parish was not able 
to afford him a maintenance any wayes 
competent; (3) that the church utensils 
were a table and two cups for the use of 
the holy communion ; (4) that the minister 
had a " gleeb and manse, but not sufficient 
according to law"; and (5) that the "sti- 
pend was some more than four hundredth 
merks!" (New Spalding Club's Records of 
the Exercise of Alford, pp. 343-44.) 

Within the small parish graveyard in 
the hollow of the Braes of Forbes, at a 
point where the Don takes a rapid sweep 
to the right, and beside the farm buildings 
of Kirktown, stand the roofless walls of the 
old church, with its crow-stepped gables. 
The edifice is small, and contains no monu- 
ments. It is known, however, that several 
of the old ministers were interred within 
its walls, as also were the remains of an 
infant child of one of the Lords Forbes. 




Among the names of old priests and 
ministers which have been preserved are — 
William of Lindores, prebendary, 1407; 
Duncan Hervy, 1427 ; Sir Alexander 
Yhong, prebendary and burgess of the 
city of Aberdeen, 1457; David Lyon, 
"peisone," 1493, who was closely related 
to Agnes Lyon, daughter of John, third 
Lord Glamis, and wife of Arthur, Lord 
Forbes. This Lord Forbes died before 
attaining majority, and was succeeded by 
his brother, John, Lord Forbes, who treated 
the whole Lyon family with much harsh- 
ness. His brother's widow was compelled 
to sue him for her terce out of the lands 
and barony of Forbes, while the poor par- 
son was likewise obliged to proceed against 
him, on 25th June, 1494, for the " wrangwis 
vexatioun and stoppin of him in the pece- 
able broiking and joising of his said per- 
sonage, and for the wrangwis withhalding 
fra him of the froitis and proffitis of the 
said personage for a yere bigane." (Acta 
Dom. Con., p. 337.) Sir John Jaffrasoun, 
vicar, 1496; Sir Alexander Monemeill, 
parson, 1499 and 1506; Sir Thomas 
Jaffrasoun, vicar, 1507 ; James Strachan, 
vicar, 1526; Sir John Michelson, 1547. 

On 26th February, 1562-63, James 
Forbes, son of William, Lord Forbes, was 
inducted to the rectory, prebend, or can- 
onry. (Antiq., IV., p. 371.) 

Rev. John Philpe was minister of 
Forbes, Kearn, Clatt, and Alford, in 1567, 
his stipend being £100 Scots. He was 
afterwards translated to Dunbennan and 

Rev. John Strathauchin was the suc- 
ceeding incumbent. 

Forbes and Kearn were supplied by 
Alexander Walcar, reader, in 1574 ; by 
James Walker, reader, in 1576; and by 
John Smyth, reader, in 1578. 

Rev. James Forbes, was minister of 

Forbes and Kearn in 1583, but he is not 
mentioned by Dr Scott. 

Two years later, Rev. Thomas Melville 
held the charges of Forbes, Kearn, Towie, 
and Auchindoir, but was speedily trans- 
lated to Strathdon. 

Rev. Robert Youngson was appointed 
in 1586, but removed to Aboyne, from 
which he was translated to Towie, and was 
re-admitted at Forbes about 1596. In 
1598-9, under the designation of "minis- 
ter at Dryminnor," he was sued in the 
Sheriff Court of Aberdeen for " spuilzie or 
wrongous intromission" by George Strach- 
achin, burgess of Aberdeen, the subject in 
dispute being a " gown of reissalls grow- 
grane thick pessimentit with silken pessi- 
ments." Value as proved £30. " A skirt 
of figurat weluot," £10. A " hewit plaid," 
£10. (New Spalding Club's "Sheriff 
Court Records," 1., p. 385.) He was 
translated to Clatt in 1601. 

Rev. Alexander Guthrie, previously at 
Tullynessle, was inducted in 1601, having 
that parish likewise in charge. He was 
translated to Alford before 1608. 

Rev. John Forbes, third son of Duncan 
Forbes of Drumallachie, and subsequently 
of Brux, was admitted about 1608. His 
eldest brother, William, became laird of 
Kildrummy, while his immediate elder 
brother, also named John, succeeded to 

Rev. Alexander Youngson, previously 
minister of Towie, was admitted about 

The succeeding incumbent was Rev. 
Alexander Irving, M.A. 

Rev. Robert Cheyne was admitted 
about 1638. He removed to Kennethmont 
in 1643. 

Rev. Walter Ritchie was ordained about 

Rev. William Garioch, M.A., was insti- 
tuted in May, 1677, but he removed to 
Kennethmont about ten years later. 



Rev. Robert Milne, M.A., was ordained 
in 1688. He married Elizabeth Ross, and 
they had a family of at least four sons — 
James, William. Robert, and John. He 
died in March, 1715, aged about 66. 

Rev. Stephen Oliver, M.A., was ordained 
on '23rd April. 1718 He married Isabel 
Rutherford, and had two sons, James and 
Ebenezer. The latter was indentured as 
an apprentice to Robert Chalmers, cooper, 
Aberdeen, for six years from Whitsunday, 
173-5. Mr Oliver died in February, 1740. 

Rev. John Mair, M.A., son of Rev. 
William Mair, of Kincardine O'Neil, was 
ordained as successor on 28th January, 
17-11. In July, 1744. he removed to the 
parish of Rayne. 

Rev. Alexander Orem, previously minis- 
ter of Cushuie, was inducted 22nd May, 
1745. Besides a son — James — he had 
several daughters, including Forbesia 
(.named after Lord Forbes), Dorothea 
(named after Lady Forbes), Jean, and 
Annie. The last-mentioned, who was 
famed for her beauty, was known as 
" Bonnie Annie Orem," but her career 
proved a chequered one. On 5th January, 
1757, Mr Orem was inducted as minister 
of Monquhitter, and died there about 30th 
June, 1775. 

Rev. James MacWilliam, who had for 
some time been acting as schoolmaster of 
Oyne, was ordained minister 17th August, 
1757. A protracted litigation followed 
on the question of the patron's rights. On 
appeal to the House of Lords, a decision 
was given adverse to the validity of the 
appointment. In 1763, Mr MacWilliam 
was admitted as minister of Kildrummy. 

Rev. William Copland, M.A., was ad- 
mitted 12th May, 1763, and died 8th May, 
1772. He married, on 29th November, 
1764, Barbara Duthie. They had a son, 

Rev. Alexander Smith was ordained 7th 

July, 1773, but removed to Keig in the 
following year. (See Keig.) 


Rev. Benjamin Mercer, M.A., son of 
John Mercer in Kildrummy, and for some 
time schoolmaster of Tough, was ordained 
10th January, 1776. He removed to Kil- 
drummy in 1807, and was the last minister 
of Forbes and Kearn. 

Mr Mercer was a man of eccentric habits, 
and a volume might be filled with the 
anecdotes concerning him which were 
related in the district. The following — of 
which some are given in the late Dr Paul's 
"Past and Present of Aberdeenshire" — 
may prove a not uninteresting digression. 
Mr Mercer — or " Benjie," as he was 
familiarly called by his parishioners — pos- 
sessed great bodily strength, by which he 
kept the people of the district in awe when 
they got into brawls— no unusual occur- 
rence in those times. He carried about 
with him a large stick, which he called 
" Liowes " — a corruption of Lewis — in 
which island — at Stornoway — he had spent 
the earlier part of his career as a school- 
master. On the threatened invasion by 
the French in the beginning of last 
century, Mr Mercer was approached by the 
local proprietors with a view to inducing 
his parishioners to join a corps of volun- 
teers then being organised in the district. 
He accordingly called a meeting of the 
young men, and, delivering a stirring 
address to stimulate their martial ardour, 
he laid "Liowes" upon his shoulder and 
urged them to follow him to the place of 
rendezvous, adding by way of encourage- 
ment — " Come, lads, follow me, for I aye 
delichtit in fechtin'." His prowess in this 
respect was put to a practical test on one 
occasion when returning from Tarland. 
When about two miles out of that village, 
he was suddenly set upon by four fellows, 
who tried to rob him. They had evidently 



miscalculated the powers of their subject, 
for he quickly felled three of them to the 
ground, while the fourth made off at a 

Mr Mercer's habits of living were 
strikingly peculiar. He named the manse, 
garden, and glebe his West Indies, from 
the fact that he manufactured his oats into 
coffee, which he sweetened with honey 
made by his own bees. He partook of no 
refreshment without first toasting his own 
health in the words, " Here's t' ye then, 
Benjie." He used little butcher meat, 
considering it " flash " and an unnecessary 
article of diet. At length these foibles 
became so pronounced that his wife (she 
was a daughter of Mr Stew r art of Carna- 
veron, in Alford) was obliged to separate 
from him. 

A curious account is given of the treat- 
ment he extended to Mr A. Brown, who 
afterwards became minister of the parish 
of Coull, and who is said to have changed 
his surname from that of Brownie. After 
completing his educational career, Mi- 
Brown travelled for some time on the 
Continent as tutor to young Forbes of 
Craigievar. Returning to his native 
district, he called upon Mr Mercer, 
announcing himself as Mr Brown. He was 
so much changed in appearance and 
manner, however, that Mr Mercer either 
did not or pretended not to know him. 
After some explanations were given, the 
cultured young tutor was honoured with 
the remark — " I ken. my young man, far 
ye are noo ! Ye'll be a son o' Sanners 
Brownie's o' Brig o' Scuttery." Not long 
afterwards, Mr Brown appeared before the 
local Presbytery on trial with a view to 
being licensed as a preacher of the gospel. 
Walking into the place of meeting with a 
bearing which did not commend itself to 
Mr Mercer, he was thus accosted by him — 
"Come awa', Mr Brown! We aye kent 

ye'r father, Mr B-r-o-w-n-i-e, wis a capita! 
fiddler o' Strathspeys!" 

During his pastorate of Forbes and 
Kearn, Mr Mercer was in the habit of 
preaching every Sunday forenoon at 
Forbes and in the afternoon at Kearn. 
In walking between those places he had 
to cross the hill of Correen, which was no 
easy matter in winter, and was almost 
overpowering from the heat in the summer 
season. In specially warm weather, how- 
ever, he was equal to the occasion for, 
taking off his coat and waistcoat, he threw 
them over his shoulder and thus advanced. 
The beadle, when he saw the white shirt 
appearing on the crest of the hill, took this 
as his signal and forthwith raug the bell. 

One day, when Mr Mercer was preach- 
ing, a man in the corner of a seat fell 
asleep. Of this no notice was taken till 
he commenced to snore, when the minister 
called out to the beadle — " Charlie, waken 
up Sandy Mutch ; he's sittin' i' the corner 
o' that squar' seat snorin'." Sandy, on 
being roused, wakened up in a flurried 
and excited state, whereupon the minister 
addressed him — " Sandy, I'm nae sae hard 
upon sleepers i' the kirk as some fouk, 
because the preacher is sometimes as much 
to blame as the hearer ; " and then holding 
out his big clenched fist with a threatening 
gesture, said — " But, Sandy, I debar 

All Mr Mercer's family died young ex- 
cept one son — James, who, like his father, 
" delichtit in fechtin'." He served with 
distinction under Sir John Moore in the 
Peninsular campaign, and was beloved by 
his comrades. His death was very sad. 
As lieutenant in one of the regiments 
which fought against Marshal Soult at 
Corunna, he signalised himself by his 
daring and courage. With a mere handful 
of men he held the enemy in check at a 
bridge which they vainly strove to carry, 
and to give greater encouragement to his 



followers, lie got upon the parapet, when 
a bullet from the French guns pierced his 
body, and he fell dead. 


According to John Skeen. clerk register. 
Alexander III., in 1272, made a grant to 
Duncan of Forbes of the lands and tene- 
ments of Forbes. (Antiq., IV., p. 372.) 
The nest conspicuous person of the line 
was Alexander Forbes, who is described 
as " a man of great magnanimity and cour- 
age, and a true lover of his country." He 
was captain and governor of the castle of 
Urquhart, which in 1304 he gallantly de- 
fended for a long time against the forces 
of Edward I. All terms of surrender 
having been rejected, the castle was at 
length reduced by storm, and he and his 
sons, along with the whole garrison, were 
put to the sword. Happily, his lady made. 
her escape to Ireland, where she gave 
birth to a posthumous son. 

This son, Alexander Forbes, while yet a 
young man came to Scotland, and, espous- 
ing the cause of Robert the Bruce, per- 
formed many acts of daring and chivalry. 
On the accession of King David, Forbes 
faithfully adhered to his interest till he 
lost his life, along with many of his clan, 
in the fatal battle of Dupplin in 1332. He 
was succeeded by his son — known in history 
as " Sir John with the black lip " — who 
acquired from Thomas, Earl of Mar, 
additional lands in Aberdeenshire. By 
Robert III. he was elected Justiciary and 
coroner of the county. He married Eliza- 
beth Kennedy, and they had a family of 
four sons — Sir Alexander, his successor ; 
Sir William, progenitor of the Lords 
Pitsligo, etc. ; Sir John, progenitor of the 
Forbeses of Tolquhou, Foveran, Waterton, 
and Culloden ; and Alexander — known as 
Alaster Cam — progenitor of the Forbeses 
of Brux, etc. 

On the death of his father in 1405, Sir 

Alexander succeeded, and early gave proof 
of his martial prowess. In 1407, he 
accompanied Sir Walter of Lindsay and 
Sir Alexander Stewart, Earl of Mar, on 
a special mission to England, where they 
engaged in tournaments with certain Eng- 
lish knights. At the head of one hundred 
horse and forty lances, he went to France 
with a view to opposing the English under 
Henry V. He accompanied the Earl of 
Mar to the battle of Liege, and it was 
chiefly owing to his and Lord Gordon's 
bravery that the Scots obtained a crown- 
ing victory over the English at Beauge, 
in Anjou, in 1421. Immediately there- 
after, he returned to Scotland, and at 
different times had safe conducts to visit 
England and wait upon the Scottish King, 
who was a prisoner there, and for whose 
release lie subsequently became one of the 
hostages. (Acts Parliament.) He had 
grants to many estates, and had the whole 
erected into one barony — that of Forbes — 
on 6th October, 1430. About 1440, he was 
created a peer of Parliament, under the 
title of Baron Forbes ; and the honour 
remains with his direct descendants to the 
present time. He married Lady Elizabeth 
Douglas, daughter of George, Earl of 
Angus, and they had a family of two sons 
and three daughters. 

James, second Lord Forbes, succeeded 
on the death of his father in 1448. He 
married Lady Egidia Keith, daughter of 
William, first Earl Marischal, and their 
family consisted of William, Master of 
Forbes ; Duncan, progenitor of the 
Forbeses of Corsindae, Monymusk, etc. ; 
Patrick, of Corse, armour-bearer to 
James III., whose grandson was pro- 
genitor of the Forbeses, Earls of 
Granard, in Ireland. The daughter 

married Malcolm Forbes of Tolquhon. 

Alexander, 4th Lord Forbes, played a 
prominent part in the dissensions which 
agitated Scotland after the murder of 



.lames III., joining the insurrection of the 
Earl of Lennox and other barons. In- 
dignant at the ascendancy of the nonenti- 
ties who then ruled the Court of James IV., 
Lord Forbes appeared in open revolt, 
marching through the country, and dis- 
playing the blood-stained garments of the 
murdered King. Large numbers nocked 
to his banner, but the insurrection — which 
at one time looked serious — was effectually 
quelled by the utter defeat of the army of 
Lennox at Talla Moss. Lord Forbes was 
not only pardoned, but restored to Royal 


Arthur, brother of the preceding, suc- 
ceeded as 5th Lord Forbes in 1491, and was 
followed by his brother John as 6th Lord in 
1496. The latter had charters to many 
lands, and, on 6th April, 1509, secured a 
special permit to erect a castle upon the 
hill of King-Edward. Matters of a more 
stirring nature than castle - building 
occupied his attention, however. He 
was at deadly feud with the Earl of 
Huntly, who left no stone unturned to 
encompass his ruin and that of his family. 
For a lengthened period, the Lords Forbes 
had been engaged by the burgh of Aber- 
deen to preserve the salmon fishings on the 
rivers Dee and Don within the limits of the 
town. For this service they had been 
accustomed to receive an annual present of 
a tun of wine. For some years the present 
had been withheld by the town for the 
double reason that there had been a serious 
quarrel between the sons of Lord Forbes 
and several prominent residenters, and also 
that those charged with the preservation 
of the fishings were alleged to be the prin- 
cipal destroyers of the fish. His lordship, 
dissatisfied with this treatment, made a 
formal demand for his wine, at the same 
time claiming the right to a half net's 
fishing in the Don. The refusal to comply 

with these demands speedily led to an open 
rupture. The citizens prepared for being 
attacked ; nor had they long to wait, for 
on 30th July, 1530, the Forbeses, assisted 
by John Forbes of Pitsligo, Arthur Forbes 
of Brux, and "Evil Willie," invaded the 
town. A sharp rencontre followed, in 
which the Forbeses were overpowered and 
compelled to seek shelter in the Grey Friars 
place. Several were killed and many in- 
jured. Ultimately, a more friendly under- 
standing was arrived at, and the present of 
the wine was renewed. Subsequently, on 
the Forbeses erecting a house in the town, 
the Council furnished them with wood to 
the value of 100 merks, and named the 
locality Putachie Side, in honour of their 
country house and property of Putachie. 

On 30th January, 1527, John, Master of 
Forbes, with certain retainers, cruelly 
murdered Alexander Seton of Meldrum in 
the house of Menzies of Pitfcdels, Provost 
of Aberdeen. For this offence the Master 
got a remission under the Great Seal on 
10th October, 1530. He became speedily 
involved in further broils, the result being 
that Lord Huntly lodged a charge of 
treason against him and his father, Lord 
Forbes. The latter was acquitted, but the 
Master was found guilty of the whole 
offences charged — i.e., conspiring for the 
King's death by meditating to kill him 
with the shot of a culverin, conspiring for 
the destruction of the Scottish army at 
Jedburgh, and aiding the English enemies. 
He was sentenced to be hanged and quar- 
tered, but, says Balfour, " by the media- 
tion of friends, had the favour to be 
beheaded and quartered." Subsequent 
information showed that the Master was 
guiltless of the crimes for which he 


William, 7th Lord Forbes, succeeded in 
1547. He married Elizabeth, daughter 



and co-heiress of Sir William Keith of 
Invetugie, and they had a family of six 
sons and eight daughters. He had several 
maiks of favour from James V., who 
appointed him one of the gentlemen of his 
bed-chamber while comparatively a young 
man. His rent roll of 1552 shows that he 
possessed estates not only in Tullynessle 
and Forbes, but also in the parishes of 
Auchindoir. Kearn, Alford, Keig, Tough, 
Cluny. Midmar, Glenmuick, Kincardine 
O'Neil, Birse, King-Edward, and Foveran. 
Unfortunately, the friendliness with the 
Gordons, which was expected to follow 
from the marriage (contract dated 21st 
February, 1547-48) of the Master of Forbes 
with Lady Margaret Gordon, daughter of 
George, 4th Earl of Huntly, was dissi- 
pated. The Gordons, before September, 
1571, having seized certain church lands 
which pertained to the Forbeses, war was 
declared by the two clans, the Forbeses 
entrenching themselves on the White Hill 
of Tillyangus, in the parish of Clatt. The 
Gordons, under the command of Adam 
Gordon of Auchindoun, and another 
brother of the Earl of Huntly, surprised 
and attacked the Forbeses, many of whom 
— including " Black Arthur," brother of 
the Master — were slain. They fled pre- 
cipitately, pursued by the victorious 
Gordons, who are alleged to have entered 
and rifled the Forbes family seat of Drum- 
innor. The Master himself, it is said, 
" hardly escaped with his life," and rode 
to Stirling to solicit the assistance of the 
Regent Mar, who responded by furnishing 
five companies of foot and some horse. The 
men of the Mearns were at the same time 
summoned to attend the Master at the kirk 
of Eordoun, and proceed against the Gor- 
dons. The opposing forces met at the Crab- 
stane, and, after an engagement, " cruelly 
fochten for the space of an hour," victory 
again declared against the Forbeses, of 
whom the Master and many more wore 

taken prisoners. Whilst the Master was 
immured in Spynie Castle, his wife unlaw- 
fully associated with Patrick Hepburn, 
parson of Kinnoir (natural son of Patrick 
Hepburn, Bishop of Moray), and was 
divorced. (See New Scots Peerage, 
under Forbes.) 

John, 8th Lord Forbes, succeeded on 
his father's death in 1593. In the 
following year he was one of the five 
noblemen appointed, by commission from 
the King, lieutenants of the northern 
counties for the suppression of the 
rebellion of the Earls of Huntly and 
Erroll. Lord Forbes, Leslie of Balquhain, 
and Irvine of Drum assembled their 
vassals with a view to joining the Royal 
army under Argyll, but the defeat which 
the latter experienced at Glenlivet caused 
a change of plan. After consultation, it 
was agreed to square former wrongs, and 
the force set out from Druminnor on a 
mission of vengeance. An Irvine, riding 
by the side of Lord Forbes, was shot by 
an unknown hand, and investigation hav- 
ing failed to identify the murderer, sus- 
picion and distrust were created to such 
an extent that the enterprise was aban- 
doned, and the chiefs returned home. 

After a time, a truce was arranged 
between the Forbeses and the Gordons, 
and to ratify the peace and cement the 
friendship, a party of the Gordons 
assembled at Druminnor on a visit to Lord 
Forbes. Everything promised well, but 
the old feeling of distrust had induced the 
Forbeses to arrange beforehand that, if 
their chief should have any cause for dis- 
satisfaction or any suspicion of treachery, 
he should at the festive board stroke his 
beard, and e^ery Forbes would plunge his 
dirk into the heart of a Gordon. Every- 
thing proceeded favourably till, in a 
moment of absent-mindedness, Lord Forbes 
lifted his hand to his chin, when instantly 
the dirks of fifteen Forbeses wore buried 



in the breasts of their unsuspecting guests. 
Needless to say, this unfortunate episode 
renewed the hostility and bitterness be- 
tween bho clans, the prolongation of which 
caused both to suffer seriously in the loss 
of followers and possessions. 

Alexander, 10th Lord Forbes, while com- 
paratively young, went to Germany and 
served under the brilliant Gustavus 
Adolphus. He attained the rank of 
lieutenant-general, and was considered a 
brave and gallant officer. On the break- 
ing out of the Civil War in Great 
Britain, he returned home, and held 
a command in the army that was sent to 
quell the Irish Rebellion in 1643. He 
finally returned to Germany. He was 
twice married — first, to Anne, daughter 
of Sir John Forbes of Pitsligo ; and, 
secondly, to Elizabeth, daughter of Robert 
Forbes, of Rires, in Fife. 

William, 11th Lord Forbes, while still 
Master of Forbes, aided Montrose in his 
efforts to enforce ''the Covenant" upon 
the inhabitants of Aberdeen. 

William, 12th Lord Forbes, was an 
active supporter of the revohition. In 
1689, he was sworn a privy councillor to 
King William, and on 27th May, 1702, was 
appointed colonel of the second troop of 
horse — Grenadier Guards. He was also a 
member of Queen Anne's Privy Council. 
He supported the treaty of union, and, 
on the outbreak of the rebellion of 1715, 
was elected lord-lieutenant of the counties 
of Aberdeen and Kincardine. He married 
Anne, daughter of James Brodie of Brodie, 
and died in July, 1716. 

William, 13th Lord Forbes, eldest son of 
the preceding, married, in 1720, Dorothy 
Dale, daughter of William Dale, of Covent 
Garden, London. This lady had a fortune 
of £20,000, which was entirely lost in the 
South Sea and other bubble schemes. Lord 
Forbes died in Edinburgh on 26th June, 
1730, and was succeeded by his son Francis, 

11th Lord Forbes, who died in August, 
1734, in the 13th year of his age. 

James, second son of the 12th Lord 
Forbes, succeeded his nephew as 15th Lord 
Forbes, and he, in turn, was succeeded by 
his son James, 16th Lord Forbes. 

At this stage it may be proper to point 
out that the remains of nearly all the 
earlier Lords Forbes were interred in an 
aisle within the graveyard which pertained 
to the old Chapel of Kearn. There are no 
monuments to any of these lords, but 
James, 16th Lord Forbes, having a strong 
attachment to Putachie, decided that his 
burial should take place beside that man- 
sion, and within the graveyard of the 
old Church of Keig. The interment, 
accordingly, took place within an enclosure 
at the end of the church, and a plain, un- 
pretentious wall monument, having at the 
top the Forbes motto, " Grace me guide," 
and underneath a baron's coronet, with a 
small shield displaying the letter F., for 
Forbes, has the following inscription — 

Here, by his own appointment, is interred 
The Right Honourable James, the XVI. Lord 
Forbes, who died Febr. 20. MDCCLXL, in the 
lxxiii. year of his age, at Putachie, the place 
of his birth. 

It is singular that nearly all the Peerage 
volumes are in error in naming this Lord 
as the 15th instead of the 16th Lord 

James, son of the preceding, succeeded 
as 17th Lord Forbes, and in 1764 was 
appointed deputy - governor of Fort - 
William. He married Catherine, only 
daughter of Sir Robert Innes of Orton, 
etc., and died in Edinburgh on 29th July, 
1804, in his 80th year. 

James Ochoncar, eldest son of the pre- 
ceding, succeeded as 18th Lord Forbes. 
While Master of Forbes, he entered the 
army as ensign in the Coldstream Guards, 
and continued in that regiment for 26 
years, during which he saw much active 



service. While acting as lieutenant- 
general in command of the British troops 
in Sicily in 1808 he was decorated with 
the Order of St Janu'arius. He was Lord 
High Commissioner to the General 
Assembly in 1826 and 1827. 

Walter Forbes of Brux, the second son 
of the preceding, became 19th Lord Forbes 
on his father's death in 1843. He was 
present at the battle of Waterloo, but is 
best remembered for his liberal support 
of the Episcopal Church in Scotland. 

The present baron is Horace Courtenay, 
20th Lord Forbes, who succeeded on the 
death of his father in 1868. 

It may be added that the barony of 
Forbes is the first on the Union Roll, and, 
in consequence, Lord Forbes is the premier 
baron of Scotland. He is also a baronet 
of Nova Scotia, the date of creation being 


A railed-in grave has a marble slab — fixed 
into a freestone headstone — which is in- 
scribed as under:- — 

In memory of John Reid of Blair, parish of 
Bourtie. who resided at Harestone, parish of 
Premnay, and who died on 22nd December, 
1851. aged 51 years. 

This stone is erected by his nephew, Harry 
Leith Lumsden Morrison of Blair. 

Interesting particulars respecting Blair 
and its proprietors will be found in David- 
son's "Inverurie and the Earldom of the 

There are many tombstones to families 
bearing the surname of Reid who have 
been leading farmers in the parish for at 
least two centuries. 

A tablestone is in&cribed : — 

Here ly Alexander Reid. late farmer in Bal- 
four and when he died he was regreated by 
all yt knew hi:n, being a peeceble neighbour 
and an obliging frien. He left behind him two 
children of his first wife Ann Ritchie. Robert 
and Jean ; and two bv his second wife Jean 

He died 

Giles, Alexander and Elizabeth. 
November, 1767. aged .... 

A headstone on the same grave bears — 

In loving memory of George Reid, teacher, 
Tornaveen, Kincardine O'Neil. Born at 
Bithnie. 1787. Died at Tornaveen, 28th May. 
1876. And of his wife Margaret Clark. Born 
1796. Died at Tornaveen, 15th January, 1868. 
Also of Samuel, their youngest son. Born at 
Tornaveen, 1836. Assistant surgeon on board 
H.M. ship Heron. Perished in his berth when 
the vessel sunk during a hurricane off the West 
Coast of Africa, 9th May, 1859. 

A railed-in enclosure has two head- 
stones — 


In memory of Robert Reid, Upper Balfour, 
who died 30th December, 1860, aged 80 years, 
and his son Robert, who died 16th September, 
1854, aged 15 years; also his daughter Jean, 
who died 20th July, 1855, aged 26 years. Also 
his daughter Ann, who died 23rd February, 
1865, aged 42 years ; and his daughter Char- 
lotte, who died 31st May, 1869, aged 42 years. 
Also his wife Isabella Reid, who died 16th 
November, 1874, aged 79 years. 

In loving memory of William Reid, farmer, 
born at Upper Balfour, April 6th, 1825, and 
died there August 9th, 1896. 

He that is down need fear no fall, 

He that is low no pride ; 
He that is humble ever shall 

Have God to be his guide. 

William Reid was the son of the above 
Robert Reid. In addition to being an 
excellent agriculturist, he was a shrewd 
business man, whose advice was widely 
sought on points of difficulty. His widow, 
Mary Reid, continues the tenancy of Upper 

A headstone bears — 

In memory of James Reid, farmer, Kirktown 
of Forbes, who died 22nd February, 1864, aged 
73 years. Also his son James, who died 18th 
Ootober, 1858. aged 27 years. Also his daughter 
Eliza who died 9th October, 1858, aged 14 years. 
And William, who died in infancy Alexander 



died at Banchory, 13th January, 1879, aged 42. 
Also his wife Margaret Reid, died at Culhay, 
11th March, 1882, aged 75. 

Mr Reid's sister ELspet was wife of James 
Reid, farmer, Muir of Alford, and died 
there on 30th April, 1892, at the advanced 
age of 93. Her husband predeceased her 
on 10th March, 1853, aged 62, while their 
son James died at Muir of Alford on 21st 
December, 1888, aged 53. 

The above Margaret Reid was a daughter 
of George Reid, farmer, Nether Balfour, 
and sister of Joseph Reid, farmer, Nether 
Balfour, who died 22nd December, 1886. 

A granite headstone has the following 
inscription : — 

In memory of Ann Reid, wife of William 
Walker, farmer, Bithnie, who died 28th 
November. 1877, aged 44 years. And their 
grandson James Fraser, who was drowned in 
the Dee at Ballater on 15th December, 1879, 
aged 3 years and 10 months. Also their 
daughter Jane, wife of John Kellas, died 17th 
October, 1893, aged 35 years. 

The said William Walker died 20th June, 
1898, aged 76 years. 

William Walker was a popular farmer, 
and interested himself greatly in the poli- 
tical affairs of the county and district. His 
w r ife was a daughter of the above James 
Reid, farmer, Kirktown. 

Bithnie was long occupied by the 
Forbeses, of whom information is given in 
Macfarlane's " Genealogical Collections " 
and Lumsden's " Genealogy of the Family 
of Forbes." 

A headstone is inscribed — 

Erected by his widow and son in memory of 
Joseph Reid, farmer, Nether Balfour, Forbes, 
who died 22nd December. 1886. aged 57 years. 

The above Joseph Reid was the son of 
George Reid, farmer, Nether Balfour. He 
married Elsie Gauld, who still sui-vives; 
and their son Joseph is now tenant of that 

A headstone has the following epitaph : — 

In memory of Peter Reid, late in Broomfold, 
Tough, who, after a life marked by genuine 
honesty and warm affections, died 22nd Jan- 
uary, 1847, aged 77. Also his son James, who 
died 12th April. 1829. aged 8. 


A small tablestone has the following: — 
Here lyes Alexander Forbes, farmer and 
square wright in Neu Balgouon, who departed 
this life Agust, the 14 day in the year of God. 
1740, aged 55, and his children Alexander. 
Anne, as also Alexander Gellan and Margaret 
Morgan, his father and mother in lau. 

In a local genealogical work, published 
in 1905, the above inscription is quoted, 
but it inaccurately gives the day of death 
of Alexander Forbes as " August the 4," 
and his age as "53." The same volume 
states that he was the second son of 
William Forbes, sixth laird of Newe, and 
that from him " are descended the family 
of the late Baillie James Forbes of Aber- 
deen, who therefore are now the repre- 
sentatives of the Forbeses of Daach and 
Newe, and the heirs male general of the 
Lords Forbes of Pitsligo." As Alexander 
Forbes, second son of William, sixth of 
Newe, was admittedly baptised 22nd De- 
cember, 1687 (John, the eldest son was 
baptised 9th December, 1686), it is appar- 
ent that the farmer and square wright 
above commemorated was born at least 
two years earlier, and that he belonged to 
another branch. 

The parish was not always the scene of 
peace, as is shown by the following excerpt 
from the gh MSS. :— ''John 
Forbes, caTTed 'John Out-with-the-Sword,' 
an man of broken life, being informed 
against of great extortion whilk came to 
the King's ears, who wrote to Sir Alexr. 
fforbes of Druminnor to putt remeed 
therein, and if he would not, he would 



charge others to the same effect, and upon 
this writeing Sir Alexr. Forbes took him 
at the kirk of Forbes and struck off his 
head and caused yerd him behind the 
church, and sett his grave about with 
tippet stones, where it remaineth as yet 
to testify the same." This incident is 
recorded in almost identical tenns in Mr 
Mathew Lumsden's MS. of 1580. 

The Poll Book shows that in 1696, the 
principal tenants were Alexander Gellan, 
Bitlinie; Nathaniel Smith, Kirktown; 
John Ritchie, " Silarvethie " ; John Cleri- 
hew, Waterside; John Mitchell, Culhay; 
James Bonner, \\ alkmill ; Arthur Mitchell, 
Balfour; Robert Laing, " Strethlunack " ; 
John Clerihew, Scotsmill ; and Alexander 
Clerihew, Dubstown. The farmers of 
Bitlinie and Culhay each employed five 
male servants, to whom they paid wages 
ranging from £1 6s 8d to 4s 2d sterling 
per year In 1552, the rent of Bithnie was 
•' 38 bolls victual, 1 wedder, 4 kids, and 2 
geese " ; while that of Culhay was " 13s 4d 
stg. cash, 8 bolls malt, 48 capons, 4 
wedders, 8 geese, 4 leits peats, and 13s 4d 
stg. of grassum." 

The topographical history of Forbes is 
somewhat conflicting, inasmuch as the 
Lords Forbes, who derive their name and 
title from the lands of Forbes, erected 
their original castle at Druminnor, in 
Kearn, and afterwards changed the name 
of it to Castle Forbes. James, sixteenth 
Lord Forbes, sold the estate and Castle of 
Druminnor or Castle Forbes to John Grant 
of Rothmaise and Tomnavoulin, and re- 
moved to Putachie, in Keig, at which the 
present mansion known as Castle Forbes 
was subsequently erected. 

The estate of Braes of Forbes is fre- 
quently called Littlewood. This erroneous 
designation originated from a shooting 
lodge being erected in a field called " the 
little-wood park." The lodge was named 
Littlewood Park, the shootings became 

known as Littlewood, and that title has 
gradually got into use for the estate and 

The parish is extclled in the following 
verses from an old ballad — 

The city may boast of its bustle and trade. 
Of its wealth and people of every grade ; 
But for health-giving air and beauty of scene, 
Commend me to Forbes with braes ever green ! 

There by the vale, the stream, and the hill, 
I drink nature's nectar, a balm for each ill — 
Drives care to the winds, gives spirit and hope, 
Renewing my youth life's battle to cope. 


The following interesting particulars 
which were compiled early in the last 
century, preparatory to the erection of the 
present Parish Church, appear in James 
Logan's MS. — 

The etymology of Kintore is Celtic, and is 
generally said to signify Bull's head, from 
" Caen " head, and " Taur " bull. It may with 
more probability be derived from Caen-doire — 
head or principal wood— and the forest of Kin- 
tore, so often mentioned in old charters, affords 
some proof of the justice of this explanation. 

The church is situated in the town, which is 
a very ancient Royal Burgh. 

On the north side of the churchyard is a Law 
or Moot hill, at the base of which runs a small 

Kintore was anciently in the benefice of Kin- 
kell, and it is not only evident that a church 
must have existed here from very remote 
antiquity, but it is highly probable that its site 
occupies a spot consecrated for worship by our 
pagan forefathers. In support of this opinion 
a stone is seen in the south part of the burying- 
ground, on which is traced the symbolical 
figures so frequently found on similar remains. 
It is a bluish whinstone, and lies almost buried 
in the soil So little do these relics interest the 
present generation that the Rev. [John] Shand, 
who has been many years minister, told me 
.... he never knew of its existence before 
I informed him of it! 



This parish was often the scene of military 
musters, and sometimes of warlike contention, 
for which, from its situation and extensive 
muirs, it was well adapted. 

It was also in early ages the occasional resi- 
dence of Royalty. Hence we may believe the 
church was resorted to on many a solemn occa- 

It was dedicated to Saint Mary. (Harl MS., 

There was an altar in this church dedicated 
to the Holy Cross, for officiating at which a 
chaplain had an endowment of a house, land, 
and certain rents " in the territorie of Kin- 
tore." In ... " Seventeen rynds of land, 
with houses and rents, etc.," belonging to this 
chaplainry were " sett to William, Master of 
Marischal, ffor £1 6s 8d." (H.S. ut Bup.) 
The altar was probably situated a few feet 
from the east end of the church, where, in the 
north wall, is a small square niche, 1ft. 9in. 
by 1ft. 2in., ornamented by mouldings, etc. In 
the upper part is a mitre, highly enriched, and 
ornamented by a figure of the crucifixion. 
Underneath is an inscription, of which the word 
Jesvs is legible. It is partly hid from view by 
the gallery. The marks of an iron grating re- 
main in the stones forming the aperture. The 
figures have been gilt. 

The above-quoted manuscript informs us 
that — 

The kirk is placed east and west, and is 82 
or 83 feet by 25 outside measure. It appears to 
be very ancient, and is well built. Near the 
west end are two singularly-formed doors oppo- 
site to each other, but the one on the north 
wall, by which, in Popish times, the holy 
water was brought into the church, is now 
closed up as useless. I believe there were 
originally only these two. The small one in 
the centre gives access to the pulpit, but has 
been a window surrounded with various mould- 
ings and considerable sculpture. The lancet 
window is well formed. 

In the interior south wall, near the east end, 
and about three feet from the ground, is a 
small niche, 1 foot 4 inches high and 1 foot 
2 inches wide. The form is an ogee arch. Here 
the gallery stair is carried up. 

On the north jamb of the window in the west 
end is an inscription in relief, 171R111, but 
from the appearance of the letters it does not 
seem in its original situation, 

The door latches are curious. 
The church was repaired about 1760, and new 
lofts or galleries were erected for the accommo- 
dation of the additional parishioners, obtained 
by the annexation of one-third part of the 
parish of Kinkell, and it was probably on this 
occasion that the stair ascending to the western 
gallery was built. {There are galleries on 
three sides of the church.) 

The " inside plenishing " or furniture of this 
church affords a curious specimen of the old 
mode of fitting up a place of worship. But, 
compared with others still remaining in a 
similar state, it may be considered plain, none 
of the pews exhibiting those elaborate and 
fantastic canopies so much the fashion in for- 
mer times. 

In the east end is a " table seat " or round 
pew, which belonged to an old family of the 
name of Harvie— heritors of the parish. The 
panelling on the wall is ornamented in a simple 
manner, but with a rudeness resembling Indian 
workmanship. The family arms, and date 
1653, are carved in relief, and have been 

originally painted 

It does not appear that there ever was a bell 
attached to this church. 

In the aperture of the remains, supposed to 
mark the site of the Holy Cross altar, is an old 
weather-cock, and the now useless jogs. 

In the north side of the churchyard is a 
ponderous stone of a peculiar shape, said to 
have been the pedestal of the font, Its greater 

circumference is 7£ feet 

The parish was formerly in the Presbytery of 
Aberdeen, but in 1702, by an Act of Synod, it 
was annexed to that of Garioch (pro tempore), 
from which it has not since been separated. 

In 1754 the lands of Creechy [Crichie] and 
Thainston, in the west part of the parish, were, 
by decreet, annexed to it. On the death of 
the incumbent of Kinkell in 1761 the annexa- 
tion was carried into effect. . . • 

Although, as stated by Logan, no bell 
was attached to the old church, yet a 
small one hung from a tree in the grave- 
yard. It is now stored within the present 
church buildings. In the Town House is 
a bell, which was originally intended for 
the use of the Parish Church authorities, 
as well as the burgh magistrates. It bears 



an inscription in Latin, which in English 
reads — 

This bell was made in 1702 by Albert Gely 
for the use of the Parish Church of Kintore 
and the Magistracy. Be mindful of the last 


" Kyntor and Kynneller " were supplied 
by Rev. George Patersoun as minister, 
with John Wilie as reader, in 1569. The 
readership included Skene likewise, and 
the salary was xx. lib. Wilie was followed 
by John Chalmer, who, in turn, gave place 
to John Leslie. 

R-ev. William Forbes was for a short 
time minister, but in 1600 was compelled 
to remove to Leslie through his failure to 
secure a living at Kintore. 

Rev. Archibald Rait was ordained in 
1600, and two years later his stipend was 
returned at the miserable sum of £2 15s 
6§d. He died before February, 1635, 
survived by his wife, Janet, daughter of 
Bishop Peter Blackburn, and by two sons, 
William and Robert. (Grant Leslie's MS.) 
Mrs Rait was married, secondly, to Robert 
Anderson in Kintore. (See Sheriff Court 
Records, II., p. 408.) 

Rev. Alexander Lunan, M.A., previously 
at Monymusk, was inducted in 1628. In 
1632, he married Jean, eldest daughter 
of Sir William Forbes of Monymusk, Bart, 
(see Monymusk), and they had a son, 

Rev. John Cheyne was the succeeding 
incumbent. In June, 1640, he was appre- 
hended and carried prisoner to Aberdeen 
for standing out against the Covenant. 
On 12th March, 1645, he entertained and 
lodged in the manse the Marquis of 
Montrose. He married, and had a son, 
Robert, who married Isobel Johnston of 
Craig. According to the Rose MSS., Mr 
Cheyne was the great-grandfather of the 
celebrated Helen Taylor, Lady Braco. 

Rev. Andrew Strachan, M.A., previously 
at Tullynessle, was inducted about 1649. 
He died in August, 1679, survived by a 
son, James, minister of Oyne. (See Tully- 
nessle and Oyne.) 

Rev. William Gordon was admitted 
from St Cuthbert's in 1680. In 1695, he 
was deprived for non-jurancy, and died 
two years later. He married Janet Keith, 
and they had a family of three sons — 
William, Alexander, and James — besides 
two daughters, Anna, and Catherine who 
married Rev. Robert Keith, minister of 
Ballantrae, son of John Keith of Glas- 
gowego. The son William became a 
magistrate of Old Aberdeen, and it is 
recorded [Scott's Fasti] that at the inter- 
ment of his wife, Mary Irvine, in 1713, 
the funeral service of the Church of 
England was first read in the north of 

R-ev. William Thomson, previously at 
AuchiDdoir, was inducted in 1697, and 
continued till at least October, 1717. 

Rev. James Shand, son of Rev. John 
Shand, minister of Premnay, was trans- 
lated from Kemnay in 1718. He died in 
1726. He married Barbara Leith, and 
their family consisted of two sons and a 
daughter — George, baptised 27th Septem- 
ber, 1711 ; Andrew, baptised 4th November, 
1712; and Margaret, baptised 17th 
November, 1713. The son George was 
Lord Provost of Aberdeen in 1764-65. (See 

Rev. George Moir, previously at Towie, 
was inducted 18th October, 1727. He died 
9th April, 1737. In 1719, he married Jean, 
daughter of Sir William Forbes of Mony- 
musk, Bart. ; and of their family, William 
afterwards became minister of Fyvie, and 
Jean, in 1751, married James Jopp of 
Cotton, who was Lord Provost of Aber- 
deen for several terms from 1768. 

Rev. James Darling, translated from 




Montkeggie, was inducted in 1738. He 
died four years later. 

Rev. Alexander Gordon, M.A., son of 
Professor George Gordon, of King's 
College, was ordained in 1742. He died 
at Old Aberdeen on 27th May, 1766, in his 
48th year. 

The succeeding incumbent is com- 
memorated by a tablestone in the parish 
graveyard, which bears the following in- 
scription — 

In memory of the Rev. Mr George Adam, 
late minister of Kintore, who died the 19th 
day of November, 1798, in the 69th year of his 
age, and 35th of his ministry. This stone is 
placed upon his grave by his affectionate 
widow. Under this stone also is interred ni3 
widow, Mrs Elizabeth Adam, who died the 
1st day of January, 1822, in the 78th year of 
her age. 

Rev. George Adam was ordained 
minister of the parish of Udny 28th 
March, 1764, and inducted to Kintore, 
10th June, 1767. His wife's maiden 
surname was Pratt. 

A railed-in grave has a tablestone — 

In memory of the Rev. John Shand, who was 
for nine years minister of the parish of Kern- 
nay, twelve years at Chapel of Garioch, and 
thirty-three at Kintore. He was born 7th 
November, 1754, and died 11th January, 1833. 
in the 79th year of his age, and 54th of his 
ministry. And Margaret Dauney, his wife, 
daughter of the Rev. Francis Dauney, min- 
ister of Banchory-Ternen, who was born 3th 
August, 1763, and died 27th February, 1833. 
Also their children — John, born 8th April. 
1785; died at Calcutta, 31st March, 1813. 
Francis, born 2nd August, 1786 ; died at 
Spanish Town, Jamaica, 10th March, 1827. 
Margaret, who was born 13th March, 1788*died 
22nd December, 1789, and is buried in the 
Churchyard of Banchory-Ternen. William, 
born 13th January, 1790; died 12th May, 1804, 
and is buried in the churchyard of St Nicholas, 
Aberdeen. Eliza, born 4th July, 1793 ; died 16th 
January, 1817 ; and Anthony, bom 1st July, 1797 ; 
died 20th June. 1802, both buried in this church- 
yard. Alexander, born 6th August. 1795; died 

at Kilmarnock, 16th May, 1835. Robert, born 
2l6t February, 1801, died 20th April, 1862. 
Mary, born 17th July, 1791 ; died 12th February, 
1881. Margaret, born 28th December, 1802; 
died 21st May. 1896. 

Christina Keith married to Alexander Ander- 
son, born 4th April, 1807; died 17th June, 

Rev. John Shand was the second son of 
John Shand, Old Rayne, and of his 
wife, Mary Stewart. He graduated at 
Marischal College in 1771, and on 28th 
April, 1779, was ordained minister of 
Kemnay. On 11th October, 1787, he was 
inducted to Chapel of Garioch, from which 
he was translated to Kintore, and inducted 
3rd October, 1799. Of his sons mentioned 
in the foregoing inscription, Francis was 
admitted a member of the Society of 
Advocates in Aberdeen 21st November, 
1811 ; Alexander (father of the late Lord 
Shand, referred to later) was for some 
time a partner in the firm of Shand and 
Simpson, clothiers, Aberdeen; and Robert 
is referred to later. The daughter, 
Christina Keith, married Alexander 
Anderson, son of Rev. George Anderson, 
minister of Leochel-Cushnie, and they had 
six of a family, of whom the eldest son 
was the late George Anderson, advocate, 
of Cochran and Anderson, advocates, 
Aberdeen, a younger son being John 
Alexander Anderson, of the Indian Civil 
Service, Lahore, and some time of 
Belmont, Stonehaven, who died at Murree, 
Punjaub, 20th June, 1904. 

In a railed-in grave is an obelisk, which 
is inscribed as under — 

To the memory of the Rev. Robert Simpson, 
D.D., ten years minister of the parish of Kin- 
tore, and 26 years minister of the Free Church 
there, formed under him in 1843. Died 29th 
June, 1870, aged 78 years. " There remaineth 
therefore a rest to the people of God." Erected 
by hi9 widow and family. 

Harriet Mary Brown, widow of the Rev. 
Robert Simpson. D.D , who died 9th February, 



1886. aged 72 years. " When Christ, who is 
our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear 
with Him in glory." 

James R Simpson, their eldest son, died 13th 
May. 1851. aged 15 years; their fourth son, 
Surgeon-Major John Simpson, died 13th 
August. 1880. aged 38 years. George Gilbert 
Simpson, fifth son, died 13th June, 1896, at 
Perth, Western Australia. 

Rev. Robert Simpson — who was a native 
of Brechin, and who had previously been 
acting as master of Robert Gordon's 
Hospital, Aberdeen, and assistant to Dr 
James Kidd, Professor of Oriental 
Languages in Marischal College — was 
appointed to that professorship on 6th 
March, 1832. He was Murray lecturer in 
1831-32. He was ordained minister of 
Kintore on 18th September, 1833, but in 
June, 1843, joined the Free Church, and 
speedily formed a congregation in the 
burgh. He was made D.D. in 1856. His 
wife was a daughter of Professor Brown ; 
and of their large family, other than those 
mentioned in the foregoing inscription, 
William Lawrence is a lawyer, and resides 
in Dunedin, New Zealand ; Robert James 
Brown is a retired colonel of the Indian 
Staff Corps, and is resident in Chelten- 
ham; Archibald F. is a retired bank 
agent; H. B. is a retired commander of 
the Royal Indian Marine, and resides in 
Huntly; and David C. is a civil engineer 
in Sydney, New South Wales. Of the 
daughters, Ann Elizabeth married Rev. 
J. S. Candlish, D.D., and died in Glas- 
gow, 9th May, 1D04; while the others are 
Isabella, Harriet M., and Jane M. A. 

A railed-in grave has a granite obelisk 
bearing the inscription — 

In loving remembrance of the Rev. William 

Ross, for 30 years minister of this parish. Born 

1807; died 1873. And of Isabella Mearns, his 

widow, born February, 1816; died May, 1888. 

Erected by his widow and family. 

A white marble tablet to the memory of 

Mr Ross has been erected by the con- 
gregation within the church. It bears 
that he " was the faithful minister of the 
parish," and died on 28th January, 1873. 
He was the son of Rev. Alexander Ross, 
minister of the parish of Balmaghie, and 
was a graduate of Edinburgh University. 
His wife was a daughter of Professor 
Duncan Mearns, D.D., of Disblair ; and 
of their family four children died in 
infancy — a son, Rev. Duncan Mearns 
Ross, M.A., is minister of Glass, to 
which parish he was ordained on 23rd 
August, 1876 ; and a daughter, Agnes 
Neilson, married Commander H. B. 
Simpson, son of Rev. Robert Simpson, 
D.D., Free Church minister of Kintore. 
There were two other daughters — Isabella 
Margaret and Jane Anne. 

The remains of the succeeding minister 
are interred in Allenvale Cemetery, Aber- 
deen, where a headstone bears — 

Erected by the Rev. J. C. Smith, minister of 
Kintore, in loving memory of his brother, 
Alexander Smith, merchant in Aberdeen, who 
was born at Ellon, 21st August, 1826, and died 
at Aberdeen 26th March, 1889. 

Also the said Rev. John Craig Smith, for 10 
years schoolmaster at Tough, and for 23 years 
minister of Kintore. Born at Wester Rota, 
Longside, 19th June, 1832 ; died at Kintore 1st 
June, 1896. 

Rev. John Craig Smith, M.A., was for 
some time schoolmaster of Edinkillie. In 
1858 he was appointed to the school of 
Tough, and subsequently to that of Tarves. 
In 1873 he was ordained minister of 

The present incumbent is Rev. T. O. 
Duncan, M.A. 


Although Kintore parish was in early 
times subservient to Kinkell, yet its Than- 
age embraced not only Kinkell and Kin- 
tore, but also the gi eater portion of the 



parishes of Keinnay, Kinellar, Dyce, and 
Skene. Within its territory stood the 
ancient castle of Kintore, the castle or 
keep of Halllorest, and the forest of 
Kintore, in which the earlier Scottish 
Kings were wont to enjoy hunting. A 
portion, however, was capable of yielding 
a revenue, as evidenced by the fact that 
in 1266 Andrew of Garviauch, Sheriff of 
Aberdeenshire, rendered account thereof 
to the Crown. (Excheq. Rolls.) 

David II. granted to his sister, Princess 
Maud, the thanage of Kintore along with 
the lands of Formartine. (Robertson's 
Index, p. 36, N. 2.) Subsequently the 
same King gave the half of both to the 
Earl of Sutherland and his wife. 

In 1375, the thanage was transferred by 
Robert II. to John Dunbar, Earl of 
Moray, and his wife, Marjory, sister of 
the King. The charter declared that the 
lands were to be held as a " barony," with 
the bond-men, bond-service, " native men," 
and their issue, for military service. 

On 30th September, 1473, James III. 
granted a charter of feu-farm to Alexander 
Leslie of Wardis, his familiar esquire, of 
the King's lands of the thanage of Kintore, 
to be held by him and his heirs for an 
annual payment of £4 4s Scots to the 
Bishop of Aberdeen, and £3 Scots to the 
Sheriff of Forfar and his successors, and 
the heirs of the deceased Alexander Ogilvie 
of Ochterhouse. Leslie married Isobel 
Lauder of Balcomie, in Fife, and, for some 
time, acted as King's Comptroller. At his 
death, the King was indebted to him in a 
considerable sum. 

On 17th June, 1508, John Leslie, second 
baron of Wardis, and son of the preceding, 
had a grant of the feu-farm of the than- 
age, embracing the over and nether davach 
of Kintore, with mills, lands of Crichie, 
Tavilty, Mekil Kynnaldy, with mill, Little 
Kynnaldy, Petmeddene, Nether Dyce, with 
the annual rents, and fishings on Don, and 

the lake and bogs. Leslie was Provost of 
Aberdeen in 1504 and baillie of all the 
King's land of the regality of the Garioch. 
Interesting particulars respecting him and 
his five matrimonial contracts are given in 
Munro's " Memorials of the Aldermen, 
Provosts, and Lord Provosts of Aberdeen," 
pp. 73-74. 

Alexander Leslie, son of the preceding, 
succeeded, and on 13th October, 1546, had 
a special charter from Queen Mary to the 
lands of Tavilty. He was three times 
married — first, to Margaret, daughter of 
Alexander Forbes, of Towie; second, to 
Elizabeth, daughter of William Seton, of 
Meldrum ; and third, to Isabella Menzies. 
Of the first marriage there was a family of 
three sons — William, who succeeded; Pat- 
rick of Duncanstone ; and Alexander of 

The Leslie family disposed of various 
portions of the lands, the majority of 
which are now the property of the Earl of 

From an early period the forest of 
Kintore was carefully preserved for hunt- 
ing by the King. That it was partially 
wooded is shown by the command given on 
12th April, 1304, by Edward I. to the 
keeper of the forest to give the Bishop of 
Aberdeen thirty oak trees therefrom. 
(Calendar of Documents relating to Scot- 
land, II., p. 390.) 

In 1320, Parliament bestowed upon Sir 
Robert Keith, Great Marischal of Scotland, 
a large portion of the forfeited estate of 
Cumyn, Earl of Buchan, and, four years 
later, King Robert the Bruce made a grant 
to Keith of the Castle of Hallforest and 
Forest of Kintore, but exclusive of the 
park. Thus, in 1324, was established with 
Kintore the connection of the Keiths which 
continues to the present time. The indi- 
vidual history of the descendants of Sir 
Robert Keith will be found in Rev. Dr 



Davidson's " Inverurie and the Earldom of 
the Garioch," pp. 436-40. 


The ruins of the Castle of Hallforest, 
which measure 48 feet in length by 30 feet 
in width, with walls 7 feet in thickness, 
stand on level ground about a mile and a 
half to the westward of the burgh of 

Messrs Macgibbon and Ross, who give 
a view and plan of the building in their 
" Castellated and Domestic Architecture of 
Scotland" (Vol. I., p. 157), say that it is 
one of the very few examples of fourteenth 
century keeps now remaining in the north. 
They do not dispute the tradition that it 
had been erected by King Robert the Bruce 
as a hunting seat. 

The castle formerly rose to the height 
of four arched stories, having battlements 
besides a cape-house, with an outside 
movable ladder, by which the inmates 
secured entrance to the first floor. It is 
believed to have been originally surrounded 
by a wall and fosse. 

Tradition tells an interesting anecdote of 
a visit made incognito by James II. to the 
district during the proprietorship of Lord 
George Keith. His Majesty, who is known 
to have delighted in wandering over the 
country in various forms of disguise, called 
one evening at a cottage in Kintore 
occupied by a man named Thain. After 
some conversation, in the course of which 
he made inquiries respecting Hallforest and 
its occupants, the King asked Thain if he 
would convey a message to Geordie Keith. 
"Geordie Keith!" exclaimed Thain, in 
anger. " A better man than you would 
have called him Lord George Keith." 
ritimately, he agreed to deliver the 
message, which included the conveying of 
a knife and fork so constructed as to fit 
into each other. On receiving the symbol, 
Lord George asked Thain if he knew who 

the visitor was, and being answered in the 
negative, told him it was the King. The 
worthy burgher, remembering the wrath 
he had manifested, was afraid to face the 
stranger again, but, being reassured and 
accompanied by Lord George, he returned. 
Iu the meantime, Thaiu's wife had recog- 
nised that her visitor was no ordinary 
individual, and to show him some hospi- 
tality had killed and prepared her best 
fowl for supper. In return for the kind- 
ness thus shown by the couple, the King 
made them a grant of land, which is known 
as the Goose Croft. 

The foregoing is the tradition, and, 
subject to the explanation that Lord 
William Keith was the owner of Hall- 
forest at the time, it is probably reliable. 

Mr Alexander M. Munro, F.S.A. Scot., 
has in manuscript a carefully-prepared 
history of the Goose Croft and its various 
proprietors, which will appear in an early 
issue of " Scottish Notes and Queries." 


On 14th June, 1367, Henry of Gothenys 
and his wife Margaret, for homage and 
service, had a charter under the Great 
Seal to the land of " Thanystoun and 
Foulertoun" in the thanage of Kintore. 
Subsequently, the lands were in the pos- 
session of Martin Benyng, and in 1465 in 
that of Thomas Wardroper, the King's 
servant. On 7th September, 1467, Alex- 
ander Wardroper of Gothenys — probably 
a son of the preceding — sold them to Henry 
Forbes of Kinellar. Prior to this, how- 
ever, the family of Chalmers owned a 
portion, as also did Alexander Ardbeke, 
but the whole was acquired by the 

On 9th August, 1603, Henry Forbes sold 
Thainstou and Foulertown to William 
Forbes of Tolquhon, who had them in- 
cluded in his barony of Tolquhon, and they 
remained in the possession of his descen- 



dants till 1717, when they were acquired 
by Thomas Mitchell, who, in 1698-99, had 
been Provost of Aberdeen. In 1703, he 
purchased from Sir Robert Forbes of 
Learney the lands of Easter Beltie and 
Annesley. He was three times married — 
first to Janet, daughter of Sir Patrick 
Leslie of Eden ; secondly, to Isabella 
Patton ; and, thirdly, to Jean Mercer. 
He died 20th December, 1719. 

Thomas Mitchell, son of the preceding, 
succeeded. Ten years previously he had 
married Barbara, third daughter of Sir 
John Forbes of Monymusk, Bart. He 
died on 14th March, 1721. 

Barbara Mitchell, only daughter and 
heiress, succeeded. She married — in his 
extreme youth — Andrew Mitchell (son of 
her relative Rev. William Mitchell), who 
had a brilliant career as a statesman and 
diplomatist. He was called to the 
English bar in 1738 ; appointed Under- 
Secretary of State for Scotland in 1742 ; 
M.P. for the County of Aberdeen in 1747, 
and M.P. for the Elgin Burghs in 1755- 
61-68. He was elected British Envoy to 
Berlin in 1756, being subsequently raised 
to the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary 
and Minister Plenipotentiary at the Court 
of Frederick the Great of Prussia. For 
his special services in attending upon that 
Monarch during the Seven Years' War, he 
received the Order of the Bath. Having 
lost his wife and only daughter, Barbara, 
he had himself served heir to the various 
estates, which he bequeathed to his life- 
long friend, Sir Arthur Forbes of Craigie- 
var, Bart. He died at Berlin on 28th 
January, 1771, and his funeral was hon- 
oured by the presence of the Court of 
Prussia. The King is said to have seated 
himself on a balcony, from which he 
witnessed the procession with tears. 

Under a deed of entail executed by Sir 
Arthur Forbes, Bart., in 1772, his third 
son, Duncan Forbos, succeeded to Thain- 

ston, Easter Beltie, etc., and assumed the 
additional name and arms of Mitchell — 
all as detailed on a tablet on the wall of 
the Parish Church of Kintore. Hand- 
some figures in high relief are shown at 
the sides, while at the top arms are dis- 
played, with the motto "Watch." The 
inscription is as follows — 

Sacred to the memory of Duncan Forbes 
Mitchell of Thainston, Esq., who died the 6th 
of October, 1796, aged 41 years. 

He took the name and arms of Mitchell of 
Thainston, under the will of his father, Sir 
Arthur Forbes of Craigievar, Baronet, whereby 
the said estate was entailed on him and his 
heirs male in order to perpetuate the memory 
of Sir Andrew Mitchell of Thainston, K.B., by 
whom the same was bequeathed to Sir Arthur 
in remembrance of their friendship through 

Also in memory of his under-mentioned sons, 
by his wife, Katharine Ann Fraser of Fraser- 
field, Arthur Andrew Forbes Mitchell, his eldest 
son, died at Bombay, in the East Indies, on 
the 3rd of May, 1801, aged 22; William Forbes 
Mitchell, his second son, died at Thainston, the 
11th of May, 1808, aged 25; Duncan Forbes 
Mitchell, his third son, died at London, the 7th 
of March, 1812, aged 27. 

Also in memory of two infant sons of John 
Forbes Mitchell, by his wife, Ann Powell. They 
died at Bombay on the 6th of September, 1810, 
and the 25th of December, 1811, and of their 
infant son, James Andrew, born in London the 
6th of May, and died the 27th of August, 1820. 
John Forbes Mitchell, Esq., died at Tarara, 
in France, on his way to Geneva, on the 9th 
of July, 1822, in the 37th year of his age. and 
was interred in the Protestant burial ground at 
Lyons, leaving a widow and six infant sons to 
lament their irreparable loss, and to imitate 
the example of those domestic and social virtues 
which marked his character through a short, 
but arduous, and well-spent life. 

Also in memory of the above named 
Katherine Ann Fraser, widow of the above 
named Duncan Forbes Mitchell, Esq., of 
Thainston, who departed this life on the 27th 
day of December, 1836, aged 81 years. 

Erected anno, 1820, by his fourth son, John 
Forbes Mitchell of Thainston 



Our friends when dead are but removed from 

Hid in the lustre of eternal light; 
Oft with the mind they wonted converse keep 
In the lone walk, or when our bodies sleep, 
Let in a wand'ring ray, and all elate 
Wing and attract us to another state; 
And when the passing storms of life are o'er, 
We hope to meet where we shall part no more. 

The fifth son of Duncan Forbes Mitchell 
and of his wife, Katherine Anne Fraser, 
daughter of William Fraser of Fraserfield 
(Balgownie), is commemorated by a tablet 
in the church — 

In memory of Alexander Forbes, Esq., fifth 
son of the late Duncan Forbes Mitchell, Esq., 
of Thainston, who died 3rd January, 1843, aged 
54 years. And of his wife Janet Forbes, eldest 
daughter of the late Sir William Forbes, Bart., 
of Craigievar, who died 15th February, 1846. 
aged 64 years. 

This tablet is erected by their affectionate 
children. 1846. 

There is a granite tablet in the wall of 
the private burying-ground of the Forbes- 
Mitchell family in Kintore Churchyard to 
the seventh son, which is inscribed — 

Mansfield Forbes, Esq., born 9th November, 
1796; died 19th January, 1869. 

Duncan Forbes Mitchell was succeeded 
in the estates by his eldest son, Arthur 
Andrew Forbes Mitchell, who, dying at 
Bombay on 3rd May, 1801, aged 22, was 
succeeded by his brother, William Forbes 
Mitchell, an officer in the Royal Navy, 
who, dying on 11th May, 1808, aged 25, 
was succeeded by his brother, Duncan 
Forbes Mitchell, who, dying on 7th March, 
1812, aged 27, was succeeded by his next 
brother, John Forbes Mitchell, who, in 
1809, married Ann Powell, daughter of 
George Powell, Lieutenant - Colonel of 
the Honourable East India Company's 
Artillery. He died on 9th July, 1822, and 
is specially referred to in the first of the 
above inscriptions. 

John Forbes Mitchell's fifth son, 
Frederick Forbes, and his wife, Raechel 

Forbes, fourth daughter of Alexander 
Forbes, have a granite tablet to their 
memory in the private burying-ground 
already mentioned. The inscription is as 

follows — 

Frederick Forbes, born 21st June, 1818 ; died 
25th December, 1883. Also his widow, Raechel 
Forbes, born 25th January, 1819 ; died 9th 
May, 1897. 

Mr John Forbes Mitchell was succeeded 
in the estates of Thainston, Easter Beltie, 
etc., by his son, Duncan Forbes Mitchell, 
who is commemorated by a tablet in the 
church — 

In memory of Duncan Forbes Mitchell, Esq., 
of Thainston and Easter Beltie. Born 31st 
October, 1812 ; died 13th August, 1870. Erected 
by his widow and children. 

Duncan Forbes Mitchell, on 18th 
February, 1834, married Maria, eldest 
daughter of Robert Anthony Bromby, and 
their son, John Forbes Mitchell, has a 
white marble cross to his memory in the 
burying-ground referred to. The inscrip- 
tion is — 

John Forbes Mitchell, died at Ventnor, Isle 
of Wight, April 25th, 1882, aged 38 years. 
Matthew 11-28. In loving memory. 

The lands are now held by Mr John 
Forbes Mitchell's trustees. 


A tablet in the vestibule of the Parish 
Church has the following inscription — 

James Davidson, late of London, merchant, 
a native of this parish and town, left to the 
magistrates, Town Council, and minister of 
Kintore, for ever, rents and interest of £200 
sterling, to be given to 7. 8, 9, or 10 poor 
people of the town, old or young, men or 

And that the minister every New Year's Day 
preach a sermon setting forth the above legacy 
with its uses ; and that this stone be kept clean ; 
and when decayed, to be replaced by others, 
and in good condition for ever. 



James Davidson was the eldest son of 
an old Kintore burgher family, and, hav- 
ing a full share of the characteristic 
energy and push of the Scotch, proceeded 
to London, where he acquired a com- 
petency as a merchant. He died before 
17(35. and under his deed of settlement he 
bequeathed the above-mentioned sum of 
£200, but subject to the life-rent of his 
sister Christian. It was 1802 before the 
first interest became available for distri- 
bution. The will stipulated that no 
person should receive beyond one pound 
in any one year; that the minister should 
receive ten shillings for preaching the 
special annual sermon, and that the tablet 
inscription " be cleaned and butified every 
twenty years." 

It is traditionally asserted that Provost 
Da\idson, of Aberdeen, who fell at Harlaw 
in 1411, belonged to this branch. 

A white marble tablet in the church 
bears the inscription — 

In memory of Robert Shand, advocate in 
Aberdeen, sixth son of the late Rev. John 
Shand, minister of this parish. 

Born, 21st February, 1801. 

Died, 20th April, 1862. 

Robert Shand was admitted a member 
of the Society of Advocates in Aberdeen 
19th November, 1827, and had an exten- 
sive practice. He was for some time a 
partner in the firm of Jopp and Shand, 
advocates, and died a bachelor as above. 
Being of a generous and social disposition, 
he was a leading spirit in the Mill of 
Maryculter Friendly Society, his title 
therein being the grandiloquent one of 
"Grand chaplain, poet-laureate, and 
Kuight of Kaw-Wa in the colony of New 


Over the grave of Lord Shand in the 
parish churchyard, a monument of light 

sandstone has been erected. A baron'3 
coronet is shown at the top, and under- 
neath is the following inscription — 

Here lies the body of Alexander Burns 
Shand, first Baron Shand. Born, 13th 
december, 1828; died, 6th march, 1904. 
Rcquiescat in pace. 

And if there be no meeting past the grave. 
If all is darkness, silence, yet 'tis rest. 
Be not afraid, ye waiting hearts that weep 
For God still giveth His beloved sleep. 
And if an endless sleep He wills — so best. 
Perchance a little light will come with morn- 
Perchance I shall but sleep. 

Alexander Burns Shand was the son of 
Alexander Shand, for some time a partner 
of the firm of Shand and Simpson, 
clothiers, Aberdeen, nephew of the above 
Robert Shand, and grandson of Rev. John 
Shand, parish minister of Kintore — his 
mother being Louisa, daughter of Dr 
Whyte, Banff. He was horn in Aberdeen, 
and was educated at the Universities of 
Glasgow and Edinburgh. Called to the 
Scottish bar in 1853, he was appointed 
Advocate - Depute in 1861, Sheriff of 
Kincardineshire in 1862, and Sheriff of 
Haddington and Berwick in 1869. He 
became a judge of the Court of Session 
in 1872, with the title of Lord Shand. 
The degree of LL.D. was conferred 
upon him by Glasgow University in 1873, 
and that of D.C.L. by Oxford in 1895. 
He acted as a Commissioner under the 
Endowed Schools (Scotland) Act, 1885-90. 
He retired from the bench in 1890, when 
he became a Privy Councillor, and a 
member of the Judicial Committee of the 
Council. In 1892 he was raised to the 
peerage as Baron Shand of Woodhouse, in 
the county of Dumfries. In 1857, he 
married Emily Merelina, daughter of Mr 
J. C. Meymott, but they had no family. 

The lines on Lord Shand's monument, it 
may be mentioned, are from a poem 
written by Mrs Huxley. The three lines 



beginning "Be not afraid" are inscribed 
on Professor Huxley's tombstone. (See 
"Life and Letters of Thomas Henry 
Huxley," Vol. II.) 


A partially-broken tombstone is in- 
scribed — 

Hero lyes interred the body of Mr John 
Harvie, who was 57 years schoolmaster at Mid- 
mar. He was youngest son of Alexander 
Harvie of this burgh, who likewise lyes here. 
He was a kind affectionate father and . . . 

. . ght up a large family. He died the 
9th of February, 1767, aged 77 years. Also the 
body of Elizabeth Mackay, his spouse, who 
died the 5th of April. 1776. aged 85 years. 

John Harvie or Harvey was the youngest 
son of Alexander Harvey, who was long 
tenant of Mains of Muchel, Cluny. His 
wife was a daughter of John Mackay, 
farmer, Midmar. They had a family of 
three sons and five daughters. Alexander, 
the eldest son, went to Antigua, where he 
amassed considerable means. Particulars 
regarding him and his family will be found 
in the Dingwall-Fordyce Family Record. 

A railed-in space near the churchyard 
gate has a tablestone which presents the 
following inscription — 

Sacred to the memory of Alexander 
Farquhar, for many years one of the Baillies 
of this Borough, who was bom 16th May, 1725. 
and died 26th February. 1807. in the 82nd year 
of his age. And of Elizabeth Harvey, his wife, 
who was born 16th November, 1724, and died 
24th February, 1807, in the 83rd year of her 

They were born within six months of each 
other, and had been married upwards of 52 
years. They lived very happily together, and 
enjoyed good health till they were 80 years of 
age, when, their infirmities increasing with 
their years, they had often expressed a wish 
that the one might not long survive the other. 
And the Almighty was pleased to grant their 
desire. They were taken ill almost at the same 
time ; died w ithin two days of each other ; and 
were buried together in one grave on the 2nd 
March. 1807. 

As they lived respected and esteemed, so they 
died universally regretted by their numerous 
relations and acquaintances. 

Here also rest, according to her own desire, 
the remains of their second daughter, Jano 
Farquhar, wife of John Davidson, Esq., of 
Kebbaty. Born, 11th August, 1765; died, 4th 
November, 1834. 

Baillie Farquhar's arms are cut upon 
the stone thus — Arg. a lion rampant sa., 
gorged with a plain collar or, between two 
sinister hands in chief couped and ap- 
paume of the third, and a trefoil slipped 
in base vert, all within a bordure engrailed 

Mrs Farquhar was a daughter of Johu 
Harvey, schoolmaster, Midmar, and widow 
of Rae, Kintore. The above-men- 
tioned daughter, Jane, married John 
Davidson, advocate in Aberdeen, who 
bought the property of Kebbaty in Mid- 
mar, and erected a mansion-house thereon. 
Another daughter, Elizabeth, married 
Alexander Ross, schoolmaster, Kintore ; 
while a third, Margaret, married, in 1798, 
Rev. James Shand of Greyfriars, Aber- 
deen, and subsequently of Marykirk, 
Kincardineshire. The third son of the 
last couple — Charles Farquhar Shand — 
was appointed Chief Justice of the 
Mauritius in 1860, and nine years later 
was honoured with a knighthood. 

Three sons of Baillie Farquhar met their 
death under distressing circumstances, as 
detailed in an inscription upon a marble 
tablet fixed in the wall of the church — 

Sacred to the memory of Alexander, James, 
and Charles Farquhar, Esquires, the three 
youngest sons of Baillie Alexander Farquhar 
of this burgh, and Elizabeth Harvey, his 
spouse, who all died in the prime of life. 

Alexander was born 16th October, 1761, and 
died of a fever in the Island of Antigua, on 
the 19th October, 1792, and lies buried in St 
Mary's Churchyard, Old Road, in the said 

James was born on the 16th October, 1763, 
and lost his life along with Governor Home, 



to whom ho was Aid-de-camp, and 40 of the 
prinoipal inhabitants of the Island of Grenada, 
in an insurrection of the negroes, instigated 
by the Frenoh from Gaudaloupe at Morne 
Quaquo, on the 8th April, 1795, and lies buried 

Charles was born on the 2nd July, 1769, and 
died in this place on the 19th April, 1798, of 
consumption brought on by anxiety and fatigue 
during the insurrection in the said Island of 
Grenada, and lies buried in this churchyard. 

This monument is erected by John Harvey 
of Castle Semple, Esq., and Robert Farquhar 
of Portland Place, London, Esq., their sur- 
viving brothers, as a token of their affection, 
and to perpetuate the memory of the prema- 
ture fate of these amiable and meritorious 
young men. 

John Farquhar, the joint erector of the 
above monument, succeeded to a share of 
the wealth of his uncle, and changed his 
surname to that of Harvey. He bought 
the property and mansion of Castle Semple 
in Renfrew, while his brother, Robert, be- 
came proprietor of the estate of Newark, 
in the same county. The only child of the 
latter — Eliza Mary Farquhar — married Sir 
Michael Shaw Stewart of Greenock and 
Blackball, Bart., for some time M.P. for 

A headstone batted against the church- 
yard wall, and within the Farquhar en- 
closure, is inscribed — 

In memory of Alexander Ross, for 41 years 
parish schoolmaster in Kintore, who died 
August 17th, 1824, aged 83. And of Elizabeth 
Farquhar, his wife, who died September 26th, 
1845, aged 88. Also of their children John 
Ross, who died April 4th, 1837, aged 54; 
Janet, who died January 15th, 1801, aged 15 ; 
Eliza, who died November 14th, 1799, aged 15 ; 
Alexander, who died in the Island of Grenada, 
October 7th 1818, aged 30, and is buried there ; 
Margaret, who died February 24th, 1796, aged 
4; Robert, who also died in Grenada, January 
24th, 1822 aged 29. and is buried there; Mary, 
who died March 22nd, 1861. aged 65. 

Alexander Ross, who was a successful 
teacher, succeeded to considerable wealth. 

His wife, Elizabeth Farquhar, was the 
daughter of Baillie Alexander Farquhar; 
and Mary Ross, the last surviving member 
of their family, ever evinced a supreme re- 
gard for the burgh and parish. She be- 
queathed £100 for behoof of the poor of 
the Parish Church, a like sum for the poor 
of the Free Church, besides £200 for the 
benefit of the latter church. 

Jane Ross, another daughter, married 
David Walker, land surveyor, Aberdeen, 
and died 25th May, 1828, aged 29, sur- 
vived by her husband, who died May 22nd, 
1844, aged 51. 

The above John Ross followed the same 
profession as his father, and for a time 
held an appointment in Aberdeen. 

A rough, partly-broken, upright stone 
displays the initials P. R. ; I. D., and 
date 1697. These letters probably com- 
memorate Peter Rae, weaver, in Kintore, 
and his wife, Isobel Duff. 

A small, roughly-dressed headstone has 
the inscription — 

Here lyes the body of Robert Divorty, who 
died 1783. M. A. Divorty. 

There are other tombstones to families 
bearing the surname of Divorty. They 
were tenants of various farms, including 

A tablestone showing various emblems, 
including a skull, cross-bones, hour-glass, 
and coffin — flanked hy a scroll — has the 
following inscription — 

Here lyes Robert Lessel, sometyme in Ley- 
lodge, who dyed February 13th, 1718, and 
Margaret Fouler, his spouse, who dyed Nouem- 
ber 5th, 1728. 

Lessel possessed considerable means. In 
1696, for himself and his wife, he paid 
£1 2s 6d of poll. He had in his service 
one female and three male servants. 

Another tablestone alongside commemor- 
ates a descendant — 

In memory of Alexander Lessel, some time 



farmer in Broomhill of Skene, who died the 
22nd September, 1804, aged 72 years ; also, 
Elspet Barron, his spouse, who died the 6th 
September, 1827, aged 87. . . . 

A headstone is inscribed — 
Erected to the memory of Jean Dun, who 
died March 12th. 1808, aged 44 years. Also, 
John Anderson, her spouse, some time mason 
in Kintore, who died September 14th. 1793, 
aged 42 years. And their children, who died 
in infancy, lie interred near this. Also, their 
Bon, David Anderson, who died 29th December, 
1851. aged 68 years. 
No pomp displayed or meant by this plain 

To draw the attention of the passing eye ; 
But the due tribute of a mourning son 
That marks where lies a mother's mouldering 

The above headstone was erected by 
David Anderson to the memory of his 
mother, to whom he »vas devotedly 
attached. Left a widow in humble circum- 
stances with her boy barely ten years of 
age, she struggled bravely, and not only 
gave him a fair education, but had him 
trained to the trade of a coppersmith, 
from which fact he derived the title of 
"Copperie." He proved himself a man of 
many parts, including author and poet. 
Particulars regarding him and his works 
are given in Walker's "Bards of Bon- 
Accord,'' pp. 354-57. 

A small headstone has the following un- 
usual form of inscription — 

Here lies the body of Robert Rae. son to 
William Rae in Kintore. Ho was born a.d 
1752, married to Barbara Dauney, 1791, and 
died January, 1794. aged 42 years. 


A tablestone is inscribed — 

In memory of John Rough, surgeon, and 
lawful son to John Rough, farmer in Mains of 
Glascoego. He was born the 12th day of 
October, 1775, and died September the 20th, 
1794, aged 19 years. Also. Elspet Rough, his 
daughter, was born May the 31st. 1777, and 

died March the 25th, 1797, aged near 20 years. 
Also Mary Rough, his daughter, was born May 
(he 28th, 1789, and died May the 8th, 1804, 
aged 15 years. Also George Rough, his third 
son, was born July the 12th, 1784, and died 
May the 9th, 1808, aged noar 24 years. Also 
the said John Rough, late in Mains of Glas- 
coego. He died the 15th of April, 1810, aged 
63 years. And of Isobel Scott, his spouse, late 
in Conglass, who died 3rd December, 1820, aged 
65 years. Also Alexander Rough, who died at 
Fetternear, 20th April, 1842, aged 63 year*. 

A headstone alongside records the death 
of John Rough, late farmer in "Neither 
Black-Chalmers," in August, 1760, aged 
45, and of his wife, Elspet Fowller, in 
October, 1808, aged 89. 

A headstone is inscribed — 

Erected in memory of John Hill, late por- 
tioner in Kintore, who died 10th March, 1829, 
aged 82 years. Also of his spouse, Jane Mor- 
rice, who died 21st July, 1839, aged 82 years. 
And of their only son James, who died 23rd 
July, 1802, aged 16 years. Also their daughter 
Elizabeth, who died 21st July, 1802, aged 11 
years. Also of their grandson John Hill Watt. 
who died 28th May, 1852, aged 35 years, and 
lies in Logie Churchyard. Stirling; and of their 
daughter, Barbara Hill, who died 12th Feb- 
ruary, 1872, aged 82 years. 

Respecting the Hill family, Rev. Dr 
Davidson (Inverurie and the Earldom of 
the Garioch) states that at an earlier 
period than the gift of Hallforest — and it 
is likely in the necessitous days of King 
Robert the Bruce — the ancestor of the 
family obtained a charter of a portion 
of land in the burgh. William Donald 
Hill, Provost of Kintore in 1872, was 
descended from the original holder. It 
now bears the name of King's Field. 

A reserved space, surrounded by a high 
iron railing, contains two tablestones, 
which are inscribed respectively — 

In memory of John P'raser, for several years 
one of the Baillies of Kintore, who died on 
the 15th day of November, 1828, aged 87 years. 



And of Jean Gordon, his spouse, who died on 
the 14th day of December, 1822, aged 66 years. 

Also in memory of their children Elizabeth, 
Margaret, Robert, and Anthony, who are 
buried near this spot. 

Also in memory of their son, Baillie George 
Fraser, who died 27th July, 1851, aged 66 years. 

Several bearing the surname of Fraser 
have rendered good service as magistrates 
of the ancient burgh. The above inscrip- 
tion commemorates two ; a third — William 
Fraser — was Provost before 1698 ; and the 
name of a fourth — Thomas Fraser, Pro- 
vost, 1882 — is upon the massive girder 
bridge erected across the Don near the 
lower end of the town. 

In memory of Alexander and James 
Morrison, sons of James Morrison of King- 
seat, who died at Balhaggardy — Alexander on 
the 29th May and James on the 6th July, 1856, 
respectively, aged 25 and 16 years. Also of Mr 
James Morrison, their father, who died at 
Balhaggardy on the 7th January, 1863, in the 
90th year of his age. And of his wife, Agnes 
Fraser, their mother, who died at Oldmeldrum 
on the 18th February, 1881, in her 89th year. 

James Morrison was a skilful and 
advanced farmer. In 1842, he purchased 
the estate of Kingseat in the parish of 
New Machar, but in 1859 sold it to Sir 
Thomas Blaikie, Provost of Aberdeen, 1839- 
46. (See New Machar.) His wife was a 
daughter of Baillie John Fraser referred to 
in the preceding inscription. He was a man 
of sterling worth and of marked indivi- 
duality of character. Several anecdotes 
respecting him are related in Davidson's 
'' Old Aberdeenshire Ministers," pp. 96- 

The following inscription records the 
death of a nonagenarian and members of 
his family — 

In memory of Alexander Roger, Kintorc, 
who died 3rd July, 1900, aged 96 years. Also 
hia wife, Helen Cruickshank Craig, who died 
5th January. 1852, aged 39 years. Also their 

sons, John, died 26th September, 1845, aged 8 
years ; John, died 24th January, 1855, aged 7 
years ; James, died at Hamilton, Ontario, 
Canada, 22nd December, 1862, aged 22 years, 
and buried at Burlington Cemetery there ; 
Alexander, died 29th January, 1893, aged 51 

A stone, which displays various funereal 
emblems, was lately removed from lair 75, 
and fixed to the inner 6ide of the church- 
yard wall, near the entrance gate. It is 
inscribed — 

Here lyes John Fowler, some time farmer in 
Overmill of Kintore, who departed life Novem- 
ber 17, 1748, aged 58. As also six of his 
children, namely, Margrat, Jean, Marjory, 
Christian, Elizabeth, and Janet Fowlers. 

The surname Fowler is one of the oldest 
in the parish. Thomas Fowler was tenant 
of Leylodge in 1510 (it was then called 
Ley lug), and in 1696 Patrick Fowler was in 
Boghead, and George Fowler in Womble- 

Three tablestones within an enclosure are 
inscribed respectively — 

Hero lies Christian Stephen, spouse to John 
Lumsden in Boghead, who died 2nd February, 
1793, aged 63 years. Also of James Lumsden, 
Esq., Grove, who died 9th May, 1834, aged 
64 years. 

The above John Lumsden was the son of 
Alexander Lumsden, farmer, Boghead. 
Hisw r ife, Christian Stephen, was a daughter 
of Alexander Stephen, Goval, Fintray, and 
James Lumsden was their fifth son. John 
Lumsden was the ancestor of the Lumsdens 
of Pitcaple, Auchindoir, Balmedie, etc 
(See Belhelvie.) 


To the memory of Margaret Gordon, wife of 
Benjamin Lumsden, Esq.. of Kingsford, Alford. 
who died on the 9th of February, 1843, aged 81 
years. Benjamin Lumsden of Kingsford died 
the 6th day of December, 1856, aged 83 years. 

Benjamin Lumsden was the sixth sou of 
the above John Lumsden, Boghead. 




Sacred to the memory of Andrew Jamieson, 
A.M.. preacher of the Gospel, and late school- 
master of this parish, who died on the 20th 
day of July. 1823, aged 28 years. He was a 
young- man of very respectable talents, of an 
amiable disposition, and engaging manners, 
and died regretted by a numerous circle of 

This stone is erected by his father, George 
Jamieson. late in Brae of Kintore, as a mark 
of affection for a beloved son. 

Also in memory of his beloved wife. Barbara 
Lumsden. who died 18th July, 1835, aged 65 

Also of the said George Jamieson, who died 
at Cushnie. Auchterless. 26th April, 1842, aged 
81 years. 

Also his son John, who died the 20th Feb- 
ruary, 1879, aged 77 years. 

George Jamieson, farmer in Brae of 
Kintore, and subsequently at Cushnie, 
Auchterless, married Barbara, third 
daughter of the above John Lumsden, 
Boghead. The death of their son Andrew 
at the early age of 28 caused widespread 

A tablestone shows the inscription — 

Here lies the body of George Wood, late 
tenent in Brae of Kintore, who departed this 
life the 15th day of May, 1749, aged 88 years. 
Also Anne Young, his spouse. She departed 
this life the 9th day of October, 1753, aged 61 
years. Also to the memory of George Wood, 
late farmer in Mill of Garlogie, who departed 
this life the 17th February, 1784, aged 64 years. 
Also Janet Sanguster, his spouse, who departed 
this life the 30th December, 1813, aged 82 
years. These lines is inserted by their son 
William, who is left to lament their loss. 

Had the above inscription been known 
to the litigants in the great Woodburn- 
den succession case much trouble and ex- 
pense would have been saved. 

On 14th August, 1736, a complaint came 
before the Burgh Ccurt of Kintore, the 
particulars of which show that adultera- 
tion was not unusual in those times. 

Wood had undertaken to deliver a quan- 
tity of pure meal to the order of the Earl 
of Kintore's Receiver, but had mixed 
" two-thirds of bear meal" amongst it, with 
the result that a merchant who had bought 
largely " threatened to break up his bar- 
gain." Pleading guilty, Wood was fined 
£5 sterling, besides being taken bound to 
refund such further loss as might be sus- 
tained through the transaction. 

A tablestone bears — 

In memory of George Mackay, Provost of 
the Burgh of Kintore, who died 28th August, 
1834, in the 77th year of his age. 


A tablestone near the churchyard gate 
is inscribed — 

In memory of William Rait, farmer in Dal- 
wery, who died 11th January, 1820, aged 78. 
Also of Elizabeth Rhind, his spouse, who died 
27th of December, 1822, aged 70. Also their 
grandchild, Alexander, who died 27th Decem- 
ber, 1818, aged 3 years. 

A headstone alongside has the inscrip- 
tion — 

Erected by their affectionate family over the 
remains of James Rait, born September, 1786, 
died 21st June, 1856 ; and Agnes Rhind, born 
May, 1783, died 16th September, 1856. 
We shall meet again. 

Also of their son James, for 31 years land 
steward at Castle Forbes, who died at Oakbank, 
Keig, 17th August. 1881, aged 57 years ; also 
their daughter, Elizabeth, died 16th February, 
1886, aged 72; also their son William, farmer, 
Brae, died 9th June. 1891, aged 79. And of 
Martha Benton, wife of James Rait, Castle 
Forbes, who died at Elgin 14th July, 1903, 
aged 86 years. 

1867. The above named with their ancestors 
were tenants of Dalweary, Kintore, it is be- 
lieved for 400 years. 

A tablestone alongside bears — 

Here lies in hopes of a blessed resurrection 
(Untill the time that Christ shall say. Arise ye 
dead and come away), Alexander Rait, some 
time farmer in Brae of Kintore, who was born 



24th April, 1733. and died 4th April, 1810, aged 
77 years. And (remainder of intended inscrip- 
tion not cut). 

The Rhinds who settled in Dalweary as 
tenant farmers in 1457 are traditionally 
reported to have come from Germany in 
the beginning of the fifteenth century in 
the capacity of engineers to Sir William 
Keith, afterwards Earl Marischal. A de- 
scendant, John Rhind, before 1680, mar- 
ried Margaret Bannerman, but he died 
before 1696, when his widow's name as 
tenant appears in the Poll Book. They 
had two sons — John and William. The 
latter (born in Dalweary 20th June, 1680) 
married, on 19th November, 1704, Jane 
Bruce, probably a daughter of Robert 
Bruce, Baillie of Kintore. He graduated 
M.D., and was alive in 1758. He was suc- 
ceeded by his son, William, who became an 
eminent doctor. The latter died without 
issue. The tenancy of Dalweary ulti- 
mately fell to the Raits, who had inter- 
married with the Rhinds long before. 

James Rait, referred to in the first 
part of the second inscription, in Novem- 
ber, 1810, married his second cousin Agnes 
Rhind, daughter of Dr Robert Rhind of 
Surgeonshall, Fettercairn. They had issue 
—William, Betsy, Alexander, Agnes, James, 
and Mary. The first-named became suc- 
cessor in Dalweary, from which he removed 
to Brae of Kintore in 1864, the Rhinds and 
Raits between them having thus occupied 
Dalweary for 407 years. 

James Rait, who was well known in 
Aberdeenshire as the enterprising land 
steward of Castle Forbes, had considerable 
literary talent. He was originally a poet, 
and wrote a treatise " On Timber," which 
was published by Messrs Blackwood. His 
wife, Martha Benton, was a daughter of 
Joseph Benton, farmer, Cattie, Keig. 

A headstone presents the inscription — 
Sacred to the memory of the Rev. Thomas 

Annand, minister of the parish of Keith, who 
died 15th June, 1867. aged 40 years. 

Rev. Thomas Annand was the son of 
John Annand, Kintore, and a brother of 
John Annand, proprietor of the Kintore 
Arms Hotel, Inverurie, and for many years 
provost of that burgh. He married Miss 
Anderson, Inverurie, and his death at the 
early age of 40 caused keen regret alike 
in Keith as in Kintore. 

A railed-in grave has a grey granite 
obelisk, which is inscribed — 

In loving memory of the Rev. John Galloway. 
M.A., for 36 years a faithful minister of the 
Free Church, Kintore, who died February 2nd, 
1903, aged 67. 

Erected by his congregation in token of re- 
spect and esteem. 

" God is love." 

Rev. John Galloway, who was a native 
of Colmonell, was licensed by the Free 
Church Presbytery of Ayr in August, 1864. 
For about two years he acted as assistant 
in Rutherglen Free Church, being elected 
in 1866 colleague and successor to the late 
Rev. Dr Simpson at Kintore, at whose 
death in 1870 he succeeded to the charge. 
He was held in high esteem by all classes 
of the community. He is survived by a 
widow and two daughters. 

Numerous tombstone inscriptions show 
how tenacious was the desire of descen- 
dants of old parishioners, even in distant 
districts, to bring the remains of their 
beloved dead to " mix with kindred dust " 
at Kintore. 

The practice of burying within the 
church had obtained to such an extent that 
on 20th July, 1599, the Presbytery enacted 
as follows — 

The buriall of the defunctis to be in the kirk 
yarde ; and gif ony beis bureit within the kirke, 
being ane parochinar, sail pay iii lib., be in- 
tromettouris with the defunctis guidia and geir ; 
and being nne stranger, or of ane vyer con- 



gregatioun, sail pay xx lib., except it be with 
the consent of the oaroche, quhilk being in- 
terponit to pay bot iii lib. 


Kintore was erected into a Royal Burgh 
at an early period, several authors assert- 
ing that the original grant — which included 
extensive and valuable commonty rights — 
was conferred by King Kenneth between 
844 and 854 on account of the villagers 
having turned out in large numbers and 
rendered efficient assistance in vanquishing 
a. Pictish force, which enabled him to 
become King of Scotland. Others declare 
that the charter and privileges were 
bestowed by William the Lion. Certain it 
is that Kintore in the thirteenth century 
was a place of considerable importance ; 
and that it was frequently visited by 
Royalty is shown by the Crown charters 
granted thereat. Among other visits may 
be noticed those of William the Lion 
between 1208 and 1214 ; Alexander III. on 
2nd December, 1273, and 29th March, 
1285 ; and Edward I. of England on Friday, 
20th July, 1296. 

In 1292, the community of the burgh 
granted a letter discharging debts due to 
them by the King and Queen. 

In 1506, James IV. granted a new 
charter, wherein he confirmed all grants 
and privileges embraced in prior-dated 
writs. These old deeds are alleged to have 
mysteriously disappeared. Again, in 1661, 
there was a Parliamentary ratification of 
all the burgh charters and infeftments, and 
appointing a weekly market to be held on 
Thursday. (Acts of Parliament.) 

It is now impossible to say when the 
municipal government of the burgh 
originated, but the Exchequer Rolls of 
Scotland show that in 1331 Thomas Ayire 
held the Provostship, which in 1330-32-40 
stands in the name of Gregory Bowman. 
Space precludes the giving of even the 
name* of the successors in office, among 

whom may be noted John, Earl of Kintore, 
in 1699. 

The Burgess Roll is specially interesting, 
and includes the names of men eminent in 
statesmanship, law, literature, and arts. 

It is matter for regret that the ancient 
commonty rights of the burgh have been 
entirely lost, and that the hundreds of 
acres of land, extending into Dyce and 
Kinellar on the one hand and towards 
Kemnay on the other, on which the 
burghers of old were accustomed to graze 
their flocks as a gratis and legal privilege, 
should now belong, as fertile farms, to 
outside proprietors. That the aliena- 
tion had been thorough — without any 
equivalent being granted — is shown by the 
evidence given by the chief magistrate 
and town clerk before the Municipal 
Inquiry Commissioners in 1833. They 
declared that the burgh had then " no pro- 
perty and no debt," and that the only 
revenue consisted ' ' of feu-duty paid by 
Lord Kintore, amounting to £9 6s Scots 
(15s 6d sterling) ; and £1 13s 4d sterling 
paid annually by the family of Craigievar 
to the poor of Kintore as an amercement 
for the murder, within the burgh, of one 
of the family of Gordon of Craigmile." 
Having regard to this declaration, and to 
the view expressed by the Provost that 
Kintore " ought to be relieved of the bur- 
dens incumbent upon a royal burgh, and 
reunited with the county," it is not sur- 
prising that the Commissioners in their 
report stated that it was " in the most 
impoverished condition of any town in 

A considerable improvement has since 
taken place, however. The opening of the 
railway and the extensive development of 
the granite quarrying industry in the im- 
mediate vicinity have been material aids. 
In the neighbourhood of the railway 
station a few fine new houses have been 
recently erected. The town, although 




small, has several wide streets. The Town 
House is an old building, dating back to 
1737-47. It was erected on the site of the 
old market stance, in which Mary-mass 
fair was regularly held. 

The praises of the burgh have been 
sung by various bards, including Dr 
Arthur Johnston, the celebrated writer of 
Latin verse, who received the rudiments 
of his education at the parish school. The 
following lines express the sentiments of 
one who spent many happy days in the 
district — 

Kintore thou ancient burgh town. 
Well favoured by the Scottish Crown, 
May thou long flourish and increase 
In commerce, wealth, and heavenly peace. 
With sons and daughters aye to be 
A credit to themselves and thee! 

The burgh seal is oval shaped, and 
shows a well-designed branch of foliage. 
Running round the edge are the words — 



1579. Thomas Mollison. 

1617-21. Walter Cheyne. 

1621-25. John Leslie. He was the 
eleventh laird of Balquhain, and had been 
representative for Aberdeenshire in 1616. 
He married, first, Marjory Gordon, widow 
of Robert Duguid, fifth laird of Auchin- 
hove, and secondly, Janet Innes, daughter 
of the laird of Auchintoul. By the second 
marriage there was a family of two sons 
and one daughter— John, who succeeded 
to Balquhain ; Alexander, who died young ; 
and Jean, who married James Elphinstone 
of Glack. Leslie died in 1638. 

1625-61. No return. 

1661-63. James Keith, "son of the late 
John Keith of Auquhorsk, Baillie of In- 
verurie," was a Writer to the Signet, and 
in 1705 held the office of Sheriff-Depute of 
the Mearns. (See Kinellar.) 

1667-74. William Moir. He was ad- 
mitted a member of the Faculty of Ad- 
vocates on 12th February, 1664, and on 
21st May, 1666, married Isobel, daughter 
of John Alexander, burgess of Aberdeen. 
He purchased the lands of Knaperna, 
in Udny, Fisherie in King-Edward, 
and Hilton in Ellon. He sold the 
last-named estate, which is now known 
as Turnerhall. He was one of the 
Principal Clerks of Session, and was of an 
outspoken, uncompromising disposition. 
On 5th July, 1672, he was sent by the 
order of Parliament to the Tolbooth of 
Edinburgh during the Lord Commissioner's 
pleasure for some words uttered tending to 
the subversion of the constitution of Par- 
liament. Five days later he was released, 
having craved pardon on his knees. (Gill's 
" Houses of Moir and Byres," pp. 78-79, 

1678-81. Adam Pittendrigh. He was a 
baillie of the burgh. 

1681-86. John Udny. He was a baillie 
of Kintore, and was probably the third son 
of John Udny, third son of William Udny 
of that Ilk. He was owner of Newtyle 
and Cultercullen, as also of considerable 
property in Kintore. The last-mentioned 
patrimony fell to him through Christian 
Kintore, one of the joint heiresses of the 
ancient family of Kintore having, two 
centuries earlier, married his ancestor, 
William Udny. 

1689-93. Hugh Wallace of Inglistoun. 
heritor of the barony of Larg, Writer to 
the Signet. He represented the Kirkcud- 
bright Stewaftry during 1685-86, but on 
28th April, 1693, his seat for Kintore was 
declared vacant because he had not signed 
the assurance. 

1693-1702. James Scougall. He was 
the son of John Scougall— Lord Whytekirk 
—a Lord of Session, and nephew of Patrick 
Scougall, Bishop of Aberdeen. He studied 
medicine, took the degree of M.D., trans- 



lated from the French a work on anatomy, 
and published a treatise called ' ' The 
Country Physician." Qualifying in law, 
he was admitted advocate on 8th June, 
1687, and for seven years held the office of 
Commissary of Aberdeen, subsequently 
holding a similar appointment in Edin- 
burgh. In 1696 he was elected a judge of 
the Court of Session under the title of Lord 
Whitehill. He died on 23rd December, 

1702-7. George Allardyce. He was the 
second son of Sir John Allardyce of Allar- 
dyce, and married Anne, eldest daughter 
of James Ogilvy, Earl of Findlater. He 
was for some time Master of the Mint, 
and seems to have been a favourite with 
Queen Anne, who presented him with a 
beautiful pendant jewel of gold, set with 
fine stones, which was recently disposed of 
in London at the price of £6500. He died 
on 17th October, 1709, survived by his 
wife, who died on 27th August, 1735. 

At the union with England, 13th June, 
1707, the burghs of Kintore, Inverurie, 
Elgin, Banff, and Cullen sent one member 
to the British Parliament ; and from 2nd 
February, 1801 (the union with Ireland), 
till 3rd December, 1832, when the Parlia- 
ment was dissolved after the passing of the 
Reform Bill, one member to the Imperial 
Parliament. By the Reform Act of 1832 
th^ town of Peterhead was associated with 
this district of burghs in sending one 
representative to the Imperial Parliament. 


Within the parish, but in the municipal 
area of Inverurie, lies the village of Port- 
Elphinstone, which derives its name from 
James Dalrymple Horn Elphinstone of 
Logie-Elphinstone on account of the 
energetic support rendered by him to the 
scheme for the construction of the Aber- 
deenshire Canal, which had its terminus 
here. With the opening of the Great 

North of Scotland Railway in 1854, how- 
ever, the need for the canal disappeared, 
and the village ceased to extend. Its 
granaries and stores are now nearly all 
vacant, but it still has a large meal mill, 
while in the vicinity are the extensive mills 
of Messrs Thomas Tait and Sons, Limited, 
where the various qualities of paper are 
manufactured both from esparto grass and 
wood pulp. 


The following is extracted from Logan's 

In a belt of planting on the land of Thains- 
ton. in the west part of the parish of Kintore, 
is an old burial ground called " The Chapel 

About 30 years since (that is about 1785) the 
proprietor ordered it to be ploughed up, but 
his grieve, with a becoming respect for the 
place where rested the ashes of generations, re- 
fused to execute so indecent an order, and is 
said to have on that account lost hi<* situation ! 
The man who came in his stead performed the 
work, but it was remarked that he never 
throve afterwards but gradually sunk with his 

The place has since been enclosed by a stone 
wall which marks the situation. 

The probability is that this small grave- 
yard had been formed at a very early 
period for the accommodation of the 
parishioners of Kinkell parish resident 
on the right bank of the Don. The 
annexation of the lands to Kintore 
removed the need for its continuance. 


The ancient sculptured stone referred to 
in Logan's MS., which was in the parish 
churchyard ground belonging to the Thain 
and Smith families — owners of the Goose 
Croft — now stands by the inside right of 
the entrance gate to the graveyard. It is 
fixed on a solid base, on which the date 
1854 is inscribed. The stone is under four 

o 2 



feet in height, 22 inches in width, and 
10 inches in thickness, and is sculptured 
on front and back. At the top on the 
front is the fish symbol, below which are 
the triple disc and bar. On the back are 
displayed the crescent, elephant, and other 

A mound, measuring about 150 feet in 
diameter by about 30 feet in height, 
formerly stood near the Parish Church, 
and was called the " Castle Hill." On its 
being levelled by the construction of the 
Great North of Scotland Railway, two 
finely sculptured stones were discovered. 
They are both deposited in the National 
Museum of Antiquities, Edinburgh, and 
are fully described in the Spalding Club's 
"The Sculptured Stones of Scotland," 
and in J. Romilly Allan's " Early Christian 
Monuments of Scotland." 

Excavations at the stone circle at Tuach 
have yielded arrow-heads, flint chips, and 
several urns of large size, filled with burnt 
bones, etc. In two of them were small 
pieces of calcined bronze — a very unusual 

About a mile and a half to the west 
stood two other circles, and on the farm 
of Crichie is part of a specially interesting 

In the summer of 1866, while an accom- 
modation roadway was being formed at 
Broomend, from the public road to the 
paper mills, several stone cists were laid 
bare. One contained two skeletons of tall, 
strong-boned men — the heads being at 
either end. The skeletons were covered 
with matting somewhat resembling felt. 
An urn lay at the back of the neck of 
each skeleton. The skulls having been 
examined by experts were declared to 
belong to the " Ancient Caledonian " race. 
The cist was formed of large flat granite 
slabs, connected with wrought clay. The 
bottom consisted of pebbles from the river, 
which lay to the depth of ten inches. 

Another stone cist was found to contain 
a large skeleton and that of a female 
infant, together with a large and small 
urn. Hanging from the large urn wa6 a 
lamp or "drinking cup or food vessel" 
made of horn. Details of these finds, 
along with illustrations, are given in 
Vol. 7, Proceedings of the Society of 
Antiquaries of Scotland. 

An interesting and what has been named 
by experts as "an unique monument" is 
built into the wall of the Parish Church 
staircase. Describing it, Messrs Mac- 
gibbon and Ross say — 

It consists of two parts, the lower portion 
forming a panel to contain an inscription or 
coat of arms, and the upper portion being en- 
riched with a beautifully carved bas-relief, re- 
presenting a. monstrance of elaborate tabernacle 
work, supported by two angels, and crowned 
with a sculptured crucifix. The whole monu- 
ment is surrounded with a frame composed of 
a series of baluster — shaped shafts — covered 
with flat foliage of a Renaissance character. 
The monument is evidently much older than 
the church (which was not erected until 1819), 
but owing to the panel at the bottom being 
blank, there is nothing to form a guide to the 
name of the person whom it commemorates, nor 
can any information be obtained on the spot. 
It seems not unlikely, however that it was 
brought from the church of Kinkell. . . . 

These eminent architects are correct in 
their conjecture that the monument be- 
longed originally to Kinkell Church, but 
it is strange that they have not been 
enabled to give the further facts, namely, 
that it formed the reredos or back of an 
altar to the Virgin in Kinkell Church, 
that it was carried off and ultimately 
found its way into a builder's yard in 
Aberdeen, where it was seen, identified, 
and recovered by the late Robert Shand, 
advocate, who had it built into its present 

The branks, or scolding-bridle, pertain- 
ing to the old church was in the possession 



of the late John Rae, antiquarian col- 
lector, Aberdeen, and after his death was 
sold in Edinburgh for £3 18s. Several 
stone hammers from Kintore were also 
disposed of at the same time. 

Further details respecting the parish 
antiquities, extracts from the burgh and 
barony records, and many particulars re- 
garding the old burgh and district will be 
found in Alexander Watt's "The Early 
History of Kintore." 

St. jfergus. 

This parish originally bore the name of 
Inverugie, thereafter of Longley, and its 
present title of St Fergus from 1616. 

From an early period, the parish formed 
a detached portion of Banffshire — an ar- 
rangement which was doubtless made to 
accommodate the Cheynes, who were the 
proprietors of the parish lands, and at the 
same time hereditary Sheriffs of Banff- 
shire. That no authentic record of this 
arrangement was preserved, and that it 
had proved inconvenient, are shown by the 
appointment, in 1649, of a Parliamentary 
Commission to determine whether " Inver- 
ugie and Straloch " were situated in Banff- 
shire or Aberdeenshire. (Acts of Parlia- 
ment.) By an Order of the Boundary 
Commissioners, dated 24th October, 1890, 
the parish ceased to be a portion of Banff- 
shire, and was added to the county of 


The original Parish Church is supposed 
to have been built by St Fergus, a Scoto- 
Irish bishop or missionary, regarding 
whom many particulars are given in the 
Bieviary of Aberdeen, and in the pre- 
face to the Book of Deer. After his death, 
his relics were objects of veneration, and 
were believed to perform miracles. The 

saint's crosier was preserved at St Fergus, 
his head at Scone, and an arm in the trea- 
sury of the Cathedral of Aberdeen. All 
these disappeared at the Reformation. 

About 1200, the church of " Inverugie, 
with the Chapel of Fetterangus" (see 
Fetterangus), was given to the monks of 
St Thomas at Arbroath by Ralph le Neym, 
a member of a family which nourished in 
the north-east of Scotland as well as on 
the Borders for a century after 1153. The 
grant was confirmed by William the Lion 
between 1212 and 1214 ; by Adam, Bishop 
of Aberdeen, before 1228; and by Popo 
Honorius III. on 13th May, 1220. 
(Regist. Aber.) In 1484, the church was 
made over by David, Abbot of Arbroath, 
to Gilbert Keith of Inverugie. 

The original church had doubtless stood 
within the area of the present parish 
graveyard, close to the sea, and within the 
extensive downs known as " the Links of 
St Fergus." Several renewals of the 
edifice on the same site may no doubt have 
taken place, but the graveyard church was 
finally deserted in 1616. Of the reasons 
which led to the transportation, the 
Buchan Field Club article, " Early Pro- 
testantism Beside the Ugies," by Rev. 
Andrew Chalmers, Wakefield, presents 
a few particulars. In the Presbytery 
records of 23rd August, 1603, it is 
recorded that " both kirk and kirkyard 
is ouircassiu with the sand, and there- 
four Mr David Robertson ordaint to 
voyce the building of the new kirk 
at the burn of Cuttie, according to 
the contract betwixt my Lord Mairis- 
chal and the minister." The new 
church was not erected at Cuttie, how- 
ever, and Earl Marischal — the heritor 
and patron — delayed action till the 
patience of the Presbytery, minister, and 
parishioners was exhausted. This is shown 
by an entry in November, 1612 — " As the 
Mother Kirk is now standin' at the east- 



most end of the paroch in ane wilderness 
oerblawin with sand, it is ordaint that the 
minister, with all possible diligence, sail 
deil and travile with my Lord Keith to 
transport the Auld Kirk to the middle 
of the paroch, for the ease of the hail] 
parochiners, that they may have hearing 
of the Word every Sabbath. And for the 
better provision of the minister, especially 
in the meantime, ane glebe land, whilk now 
he wantes. . . ." Ultimately, on 29th 
September, 1615, Commissioners met with 
the Earl "to design manse and glebe and 
place for kirk," and in September of the 
following year the new church was opened 
for service. The site selected was about 
two miles to the west of the old structure, 
and at a much higher elevation. A tablet 
of sandstone built into the building bore 
the enigmatical letters and figures — 


16 V. K. 16. 

This simply means that Lord William 
Keith removed the church in 1616. The 
letters " M. D. R.," representing Mr 
David Robertson, were also shown. Sub- 
sequently, on extensive repairs being 
executed on the structure, the letters 
" M. I. R.," representing Mr John 
Robertson, were added, as also the initials 
" W. E. M." and a shield for arms, repre- 
senting William, Earl Marischal, heritor 
and patron. 

It was in 1616 — the date of the trans- 
portation of the church from the graveyard 
—that the name St Fergus was first applied 
to the parish, although the title, Longley, 
continued to be used in legal documents 
long after. 

A new church was erected in 1763, and, 
according to Dr Pratt (Buchan), it was 
of plain but substantial construction, 
having a belfry at one end and a cone at 
the other. It bore the Latin letters repre- 
senting "To God, the Best and Greatest," 
and the Scriptural text, " Holiness 

becometh, Lord, thine house for ever 
more." The letters and figures " M. R. G., 
1763," were also shown. They represent 
Mr Robert Garden — 1763 being the date of 
the erection. 

The present church was erected in 1869- 
70, and was substantially impi-oved about 
nine years ago. 


Rev. Gilbert Chisholm, formerly Prior 
of the Abbey of Deer, was minister of 
Longley, Deer, Foveran, and Peterhead in 
1567. (See Old Deer.) 

Rev. Archibald Keith, previously at 
Logie, in Fife, was minister here in 1570, 
with Peterhead and Crimond likewise in 
charge. The stipend was £11 2s 2fd 
sterling. He was translated to Peterhead 
prior to 1571, readmitted from Crimond — 
having it also in charge — before 1585. He 
returned to Crimond after 1590, and died 
about four years later. (See Crimond.) 

William Murray officiated as reader, at a 
salary of £1 13s 4d sterling. He was suc- 
ceeded in the same office by James Kyd. 

Rev. James Leask, previously at Cruden, 
was admitted as minister before 1597. 
He removed to Coldstone before 1599. 

Rev. David Robertson, previously Re- 
gent in King's College, was appointed, in 
1599, with Fetterangus also in charge. 
He attended the forbidden Assembly of 
1605, for which he was summoned before 
the Privy Council. Upon admitting that 
the Assembly in question was unlawful, 
he was reprimanded and dismissed. Sub- 
sequently, on signifying his willingness to 
continue, he was presented to the modified 
stipend. He demitted before 28th June, 

Rev. John Robertson, M.A., son of the 
preceding, was admitted in 1637. He died 
before April, 1683, survived by his wife, 
Isobel Middleton. 



Rev. "William Dalgarno, M.A., pre- 
viously minister of Dunsyre, was inducted 
in 1678. He died in 1696, aged about 70. 
He had married Anna Keith, and they 
had a family of at least two sons — James 
and John. 

Rev. Alexander Hepburn, M.A., a 
native of Buchau, was the succeeding 
minister. He was deposed in 1716 for de- 
clining the authority of the Presbytery, 
and complying with the Rebellion so far 
as " aiding and abetting a mob to proclaim 
the Pretender King, and praying for the 
Pretender." After dismissal from St 
Fergus, he resided in Peterhead, where 
he officiated as an Episcopal minister. 
He married Eliza Clark, who died on 17th 
September, 1703, aged 42, and they had a 
family of two sons — George and "William — 
and three daughters — Ann, who married 
Captain Arbuthnot, Peterhead ; Jean, who 
married J. Duncan, dyer, Peterhead; and 
Mary. Mr Hepburn left in manuscript 
a Description of Buchan in 1721 (Macfar- 
lane's Geographical Collections), part of 
which is printed in the Spalding Club's 
•" Antiquities of the Shires of Aberdeen and 
Banff." He died in 1737, aged upwards 
of 80. 

A large stone fixed into the wall in the 
parish graveyard commemorates the next 
iucumbent. At the top are various 
representations and the initials M. W. L. 
The inscription is — 

Here lyes the body of Mr William Leslie, late 
minister at Saint Fergus, who departed this life 
the 28 of Ianuary, 1729, aged 55 years. Also 
the body of lames Leslie, one of his sons, who 
departed this life the 20 of June, 1723, aged 
9 years. 

Also Anna Leslie, his daughter, who died of 
a long illness Febreuarie the 7, 1757, aged 55. 
Her life good sense and virtue did adorn ; 
Her pains acute with Fortitude were born. 

Rev. William Leslie, M.A., was pre- 
viously minister of Kemnav and subse- 

quently of Chapel of Garioch, being in- 
ducted to St Fergus on 13th November, 
1718. He was the eldest son of James 
Leslie of Bruckles and of his second wife, 
Elizabeth, daughter and co-heiress of John 
Garden of Bruckles and Bakyhill. He had 
married Anna, second daughter of George 
Gordon, fifth laird of Terpersie, and they 
had a family of four sons and three 
daughters. George, the eldest son, was a 
merchant in Aberdeen, and married 
Katherine, daughter of Arthur Irvine and 
of his wife, Cecilia Barclay. They had one 
son, William, who (17th February, 1778), 
got licence to adopt the name of Irvine in 
addition to that of Leslie, and to bear the 
arms of Irvine. He died in London, evi- 
dently unmarried, and his eldest sister, 
Katherine, widow of William Young of 
Sheddocksley, some time Provost of Aber- 
deen, succeeded, circa 1823, as heiress of 
entail to the estate of Glassel in conse- 
quence of her descent from the Irvine 

Rev. James Leslie, M.A., translated 
from Crimond, was inducted to St Fergus 
on 2nd October, 1729, and died 29th April, 
1745. He was the immediate younger 
brother of the preceding incumbent, and 
on 2nd November, 1731, married Jean, 
eldest daughter of Alexander Forbes of 
Ludquharn and of his wife, Jean, only 
surviving child of Alexander Galloway, 
Treasurer of Aberdeen. Of their sons, 
Alexander was minister of Durris and 
afterwards of Fordoun, while James was a 
captain in the 15th Regiment of Foot, was 
twice wounded in the American War, and 
fought under Wolfe at Quebec. 

The succeeding minister has a mural 
tablet to his memory thus — 

To the memory of Mr Robert Garden, who 
was minister of this parish 27 years, and died 
8th of November, 1772, in the 57 year of bis 
age, highly valued by all who knew him, and 
deeply lamented by his parishioners. In testi- 



mony of the most sincere affection, and as a 
tribute to virtues which adorned his character, 
as a man, as a Christian, and as a minister, 
and of talents that distinguished him as a 
polite scholar, this monument was erected by 
his afflicted widow, Mary Gordon. 

Rev. Robert Garden was the son of John 
Gaiden of Midstrath and of his wife, 
Catherine Farquharson. He was ordained 
to St Fergus on 12th September, 1745. 

On 20th October, 1773, Rev. John 
Craigie, M.A., was ordained. It is re- 
corded that when on trials for ordination 
before the Presbytery be thought himself 
harshly dealt with, inasmuch as a Greek 
Testament in contracted characters had 
been put into his hands with a request 
that he would read from it. Having done 
so with perfect freedom, he was asked to 
stop, when he sarcastically observed — 
" Weel, I shall dae sa, an' if ye hae ony 
mair buiks whilk ye canna read yersells, 
ye'll ken wha to apply to." He was trans- 
lated to Old Deer in 1798. (See Old 

The following incumbent is commemor- 
ated by a marble tablet on the wall, the 
inscription whereon is — 

In memory of Mrs Mary Groat, the 
affectionate spouse of The Rev. William Ander- 
son, minister of the parish of St Fergus, and 
daughter of Robert Groat, Esq., of Newhall, 
M.D., ob. 25th September, 1819, aet. 62. Her 
amiable and benevolent disposition made her 
regretted by all who knew her. Her husband 
has erected this as a testimony of the merited 
affection and regard he bore her. 

Here i6 interred the body of the said Rev. 
William Anderson, who was minister of the 
parish for the space of twenty-five years. He 
died the 5th of March, 1823, in the 77th year 
of his age. Previous to his settlement at St 
Fergus, he had been upwards of twenty years 
minister of the parish of Evie, in the county of 

Rev. William Anderson, M.A., was ad- 
mitted on 15th November, 1798. He was 

the son of Rev. Thomas Anderson, minister 
of Aberdour. The above Mary Groat was 
his second wife, his first wife having died 
at Evie. 

The name of the next incumbent is in- 
cluded in a long wall tablet inscription 
thus — 

Erected by John Anderson, English Mill, to 
the memory of his lamented wife, Ann Park, 
who died the 22nd of September, 1836, aged 72 
years. She was a woman of eminent but un- 
ostentatious piety, and of exemplary virtue in 
all the relations of life. 

The above John Anderson died on the 22nd 
May, 1855, aged 91 years. His grandfather, his 
father, and himself had been successively 
tenants of English Mill for upwards of 140 

Here also are deposited the remains of his 
grandson, James Anderson, son of Rev. James 
Anderson, formerly minister of this parish, who 
died the 16th October, 1842, aged 4 years and 
10 months. 

The Rev. James Anderson, D.D., the above- 
named, was minister of this parish from 1822 to 
1843, thereafter at Morpeth, Northumberland, 
where he died on 17th May, 1882, ajid is there 
interred in St Mary's Churchyard. 

John Anderson, eldest son of the last-named 
James Anderson, died at Morningside, near 
Edinburgh, 27th March, 1897, aged 65. 

Under Peterhead are inscriptions to the 
earlier tenants of English Mill referred 

The above inscription gives a fairly full 
sketch of the career of Rev. James Ander- 
son, M.A., and that of his forebears. He 
married, in 1826, Margaret, daughter of Dr 
Alexander Gavin, Strichen. Joining the 
Free Secession of 1843, he conducted ser- 
vices throughout the parish till 18th Sep- 
tember, 1845, when he was admitted 
minister of the English Presbyterian 
Church at Morpeth. He had the degree 
of D.D. from Marischal College in 1860. 
He was the author of numerous hymns, 
verses, and sermons. 



The succeeding incumbent has a table- 
stone to his memory — 

Sacred to the memory of the Rev. James 
Robertson, who died at St Fergus on 12th 
September, 1854, in the 59th year of his age, 
and 25th of his ministry — having been for 15 
years minister of Mid Yell, in Shetland, and 10 
yeare minister of St Fergus. Also of his wife 
Ursula Spenoe, who died at Aberdeen on her 
way from Shetland to St Fergus. 

Rev. James Robertson was born at 
Cortiecram, where a nephew of his is still 
resident. Of his marriage with Ursula 
Spence no family survived. 

A handsome monument to the next 
minister bears — 

Sacred to the memory of John Mitchell, 
minister of the perish from 1855 to 1895. Died 
20th July, 1895, aged 69 years. . . . 

Also of his wife, Jane Garden Mitchell, his 
faithful partner even unto the end. Died 17th 
July, 1901, aged 73 years. . . . 

Also of their daughter, Margaret Alice Mac- 
gregor, who died at Farr, Sutherlandshire, 7th 
Aprd, 1891 aged 31 years. Also of their son, 
Frederick Garden Mitchell, who died at Liver- 
pool 1st January, 1894. aged 24 yeare. Also of 
their son, Hugh Garden Mitchell, who died at 
Johannesburg, South Africa, 24th May, 1902. 
aged 36 years. 

Rev. John Mitchell, who, in 1850, had 
been ordained minister of Holburn, Aber- 
deen, was inducted to St Fergus in 1855. 
He was born at " The Deep," in the parish 
of Arbuthnott, and graduated in Arts at 
King's College in March, 1846. He 
married Jane, daughter of Hugh Garden, 
Piccadilly, London, and of their surviving 
family, John is in Ceylon, William Garden 
is in Mexico, and Charles Robert is in 
London. The remaining four daughters 
are ail married— three of them in London. 
Mr Mitchell was a shrewd man of busi- 
ness, and acted for many years as Synod 

The present incumbent is Rev. Andrew 
W att, B.D., who was ordained assistant 

and successor on 17th January, 1895. He 
is married to a daughter of his pre- 


The parish lands of Inverugie, before 
1160, belonged to the family of Le Neym, 
who also held extensive possessions in 
Tweeddale and various parts of the south 
of Scotland. Besides conferring the 
church of Inverugie, with the chapel of 
Fetterangus, on the monks of St Thomas 
at Arbroath, they were considerable bene- 
factors of land to the monasteries of Kelso 
and Melrose. 

In the following century, Inverugie 
passed from the Le Neyms to the knightly 
house of Le Chen, or Cheyne, from whom 
descended, among others, the Cheynes of 
Arnage, Esslemont, Straloch, Dundarg, 
and Pitfichie. In 1264, Reginald le 
Cheyne was Sheriff of the Mearns, and for 
a time was ' ' Fermer of the Thanage of 
Fermartyn." In 1267, he became Great 
Chamberlain of Scotland, and was pro- 
prietor of Inverugie and of other extensive 
estates in Aberdeen, Banff, Caithness, etc. 
He and his son — who bore the same name — 
were among those who, in 1284, bound 
themselves to accept the Princess Margaret 
as Queen of Scotland. They were both 
present at the Parliament at Brigham in 
1290, and in the following year they agreed 
to act as commissioners in suprjort of the 
cause of John Baliol. Sir Reginald, the 
father, died soon after, and the son swore 
fealty to Edward I. at Aberdeen on 17th 
July, 1296. Appointed Sheriff of Inverness 
in 1292, he became one of the Justiciaries 
in the north thirteen years later. He died 
before 1313, and was succeeded by his son 
Reginald, who is best known through his 
being a party to the spirited letter 
despatched by the Scottish barons to the 
Pope in 1320, repudiating the unjust 
aggression of Edward and declaring the 



independence of Scotland. He was taken 
prisoner at the battle of Halidon Hill in 
1333, and died about 1350. He was suc- 
ceeded by two daughters, as heiresses, the 
elder of whom, Mariota, married, first, 
Sir John Douglas of Strathbrock, and, 
secondly, John de Keith of Ravenscraig, 
second son of Sir Edward Keith, Great 
Marischal of Scotland, and thus carried 
Inverugie to the Keiths. 

It is unnecessary here to enter into 
particulars regarding the early history of 
the Keith family. Suffice it to say that it 
was honourable, and the family honoured 
the order of knighthood and the hereditary 
office of Great Marischal of Scotland con- 
ferred upon it at an early period. Perhaps 
the most illustrious ancestor was Sir 
Robert de Keith, the companion of Bruce, 
who fought at the battle of Barra, and is 
thus spoken of by Sir Walter Scott in " The 
Lord of the Isles," after the reference to 
the disposition of the Scottish forces made 
for the battle of Bannockburn — 

Behind them, screen'd by sheltering wood, 
The gallant Keith, Lord Marshal, stood ; 
His men-at-arms bare mace and lance, 
And plumes that wave, and helmts that glance. 

The description is appropriate, as Sir 
Robert held the command of the 500 horse 
in reserve ; and, at the time when the 
English archers were mowing down the 
Scottish ranks, he made a circuit round 
Miltown bog and charged them in flank 
with such dash and efficiency that they 
were quickly overthrown. For his valu- 
able services he was in 1324 rewarded with 
a grant of Hallforest, etc. He was also 
appointed Justiciary of Scotland " from 
the Forth to the Month." 

Sir William Keith, Great Marischal of 
Scotland, and elder brother of the above 
John de Keith, married Margaret Frascr, 
grand-daughter and eventually heiress of 
Sir Alexander 1'ra.ser, High Chamberlain 
of Scotland, and of his wife, the Princess 

Mary, sister of King Robert Bruce, 
Through this marriage he acquired the 
forest of Cowie, the barony of Strachan, 
and other lands in the Mearns. He 
acquired, in excainbion for lands in Fife 
and Stirling, the estate of Dunnottar, on 
a bold, rocky headland of which he erected 
the massive castle of Dunnottar, which, 
from that time, became the chief family 
residence and stronghold. 


Sir William Keith — the eleventh in 
direct descent from the founder of the 
family — was created Earl Marischal of 
Scotland in 1455. He married Mary, 
daughter of Sir James Hamilton of Cad- 
zow, and, dying in 1476, was succeeded by 
William, second Earl, who served in the 
Parliament of 1476 and 1488. He married 
Muriella, daughter of Thomas, first Lord 
Erskine ; and of their family William be- 
came third Earl ; Alexander got the lands 
of Auquhorsk, and was the ancestor of 
Rev. Dr George Skene Keith, minister of 
Keith-hall, and subsequently of Tulli- 
allan ; and John was designed of Craig, 
and was the ancestor of Sir Robert Murray 
Keith, K.B., a celebrated Ambassador. 

William, the third earl, in 1481, married 
Lady Elizabeth Gordon, daughter of 
George, second Eaid of Huntly. Their two 
eldest sons — Robert, Master of Marischal, 
and William — both fell at Flodden, and 
their pennon — emblazoned with the motto, 
"Veritas Vincit" — which was carried in 
the battle, is preserved in the Advocates' 
Library, Edinburgh. 

William, the fourth earl, son of Robert, 
Master of Marischal, and of his wife, Lady 
Elizabeth Douglas, daughter of John, 
second Earl of Morton, succeeded on the 
death of his grandfather in 1530. Through 
his marriage to Margaret, elder daughter 
and co-heiress of Sir William Keith of In- 
verugie, he reunited the Inverugie branch 



to the main line. He possessed immense 
property, which lay in so many comities 
that he could travel from Berwick to the 
northern extremity of Scotland, eating 
every meal and sleeping each night on his 
own estates. He accompanied James V. 
to France in 1535 on the marriage of that 
monarch to the daughter of Francis I. In 
1547, he took part in the battle of Pinkie, 
at which his eldest son William, Master of 
Marischal, was taken prisoner. Robert, 
the second son, was the Commendator of 
Deer, and was created Lord Altrie in 1587. 
(See Old Deer.) The earl was a zealous 
supporter of the Reformation, and was the 
mover of the Protestant Confession of 
Faith in the Parliament of 1560. He died 
in 1581. 

George, grandson of the preceding, suc- 
ceeded as fifth earl, and is declared to have 
been ' ' one of the most important and 
powerful men of his day in Scotland." He 
was chosen by King James as Ambassador 
to go to Denmark to negotiate a marriage 
between the King and the Princess Anna. 
This mission he carried out in the most 
lavish and princely style at a cost of 
£15,000. He was the founder of Marischal 
College, Aberdeen, in 1593, and was Royal 
Commissioner to the Scottish Parliament in 
1609. He married — first, Lady Margaret, 
daughter of Alexander, fifth Lord Home, 
and of their family William succeeded as 
sixth earl ; Anne married William, Earl of 
Morton ; and Margaret married Sir Robert 
Arbuthnott of Arbuthnott. He married, 
secondly, Lady Margaret, daughter of 
James, Lord Ogilvy of Airlie ; and their 
family consisted of two sons — James, who 
got the lands of Benholm, and John. The 
earl's later days were sadly embittered by 
the unfeeling conduct of his wife, who, not 
content with neglecting him and carrying 
on a scandalous intrigue with Sir Alex- 
ander Strachan of Thornton (she married 
him within the time then prescribed for 

mourning for the death of her husband), 
robbed Benholm, belonging to the earl, of 
jewels, silver plate, household stuff, gold, 
silver, and title deeds. Pitcairn, in 
enumerating the articles, mentions — 
" Portugal ducats and other species of 
foreign gold to the avail of 2600 pounds 
or thereby ; thirty-six dozen gold buttons ; 
the Queen of Denmark's picture set in 
gold, set about with rich diamonds, esti- 
mated at 5000 merks; a chain of ' equall 
perle,' wherein were four hundred pearls, 
great and small ; two chains of gold, worth 
3000 merks ; a great pair of bracelets, all 
set with diamonds, price thereof 600 
crowns, etc., etc., etc.; also 16,000 merks 
of silver and gold ready coined, etc." 
Dunnottar was also stripped of " the whole 
tapestry, silver work, bedding, goods, gear, 
and plenishing ; and what was a distinct 
aggravation of the crime was that it took 
place a little before the earl's death, which 
occurred at Dunnottar in 1623, in his 70th 

William, the sixth earl, was a Privy 
Councillor of Charles I. He married a 
daughter of John, Earl of Mar ; and of 
their family, William succeeded as seventh 
earl, George as eighth earl ; and John, 
in 1660, was appointed Knight Marischal 
of Scotland, whilst on 26th June, 1677, he 
was elevated to the peerage by the title3 
of Earl of Kintore and Baron Keith of 
Inverurie and Keith-hall. These honours 
were conferred for alleged services ren- 
dered in preserving the Regalia of Scot- 
land from falling into the hands of the 
soldiers of Cromwell. 

William, the seventh earl, who succeeded 
in 1635, for some years supported the cause 
of the Covenanters, but after the sur- 
render of Charles I. in 1646 he became an 
ardent Royalist. Raising a troop of horse 
at his own expense, he marched into Eng- 
land and took part in the battle of Pres- 
ton, in which he narrowly escaped being 



taken prisoner. He entertained Charles 
II. at Dunnottar Castle in 1650, and, with 
the Earls of Crawford and Glencairn, had 
charge of the country on behalf of the 
King. Alter the defeat at Worcester, he 
was attainted by Cromwell's Parliament, 
and, being captured at Elliot, was con- 
veyed to London and imprisoned in the 
Tower. There he remained till the 
Restoration. In recompense for his merits 
and suffering, he was appointed a Privy 
Councillor by Charles II. in 1660, and for 
a brief period he was Lord Privy Seal. 
He married — first, in 1637, Lady Elizabeth 
Seton, daughter of George, Earl of Win- 
ton; and, secondly, in 1654, Lady Ann 
Douglas, daughter of Robert, eighth Earl 
of Morton. 

George, the eighth earl, brother of the 
preceding, was a staunch Royalist, and 
fought for Charles I. at Preston, and for 
Charles II. at Worcester. In the latter 
battle he was taken prisoner. He married 
Lady Mary Hay, daughter of George, 
second Earl of Kinnoull, and died at 
Inverugie in 1694. 

William, the ninth earl, only son of the 
preceding, was a bitter opponent of the 
Union. He was generous to a fault, and 
greatly impoverished the family estates. 
He married Lady Mary Drummond, 
daughter of James, Earl of Perth ; and 
their family consisted of George, the tenth 
earl ; James Francis Edward, who became 
a Field-Marshal in the Prussian service 
(see Peterhead) ; Mary, who became 
Countess of Wigton ; and Anne, who 
became Countess of Galloway. 


George, the tenth earl, succeeded on his 
father's death in 1712, and in early life 
served under the Duke of Marlborough— 
being appointed, in 1714, Captain of the 
Scottish troop of horse, Grenadier Guards. 
In the following year he and his brother 

James — influenced by their mother, who 
was a zealous Roman Catholic — joined the 
rising under the Earl of Mar on behalf of 
the Stuarts. The failure at Sheriffmuir, 
and the subsequent inability of the 
Chevalier's personal presence to rouse 
Scotland, compelled the Earl and his 
brother to make a rapid flight to the 
Continent. They arrived in Paris in May, 
1716. At this time — says Dr William 
Chambers — their prospects were dreary in 
the extreme, and James, the younger 
brother, had perforce for a time to live by 
" selling horse furniture!" The two went 
to Spain, and joined in a further effort for 
the Stuart cause. This was the attempt of 
1719, but it ended in defeat at Glenshiel, 
when a second flight to the Continent 
became imperative. 

Before this, however, the Earl had been 
proscribed and all his property confiscated 
to the Crown. It was shortly afterwards 
acquired by the York Buildings Company. 
It is recorded that an old domestic servant 
having paid a visit to the aged Countess, 
took the liberty to express regret at the 
action taken by her sons which had brought 
such disaster upon themselves and their 
relatives, when the noble lady rose from 
her chair, and in the most scathing tone 
replied, " Woman ! if my sons had not done 
what they did, I would have gone out 
myself with my spindle and my rock!"' 
Doubtless, however, the Countess felt 
keenly the ruin of her sons, her prolonged 
separation from them, and the impossi- 
bility of their being permitted to visit her 
in her final illness in 1729. She was the 
heroine — if not, indeed, the authoress — 
of the Jacobite ballad, "Lady Keith's 
Lament," which concludes — 

My father was a. guid Lord's son, 
My mither was an Earl's daughter, 

And I'll be Lady Keith again 
Tlie day our King comes o'er the water. 

George, the forfeited earl, after many 



vicissitudes, secured employment in the 
service of Frederick the Great of Prussia, 
of whom he became the confidential friend. 
The King gave him the government of 
Neufchatel in Switzerland, which canton 
then pertained to the House of Hohen- 
zollern. He also filled the position of Am- 
bassador for Prussia to the Court of 
France in 1750, and to that of Spain in 
1759. "While acting in the latter capa- 
city, and resident at Madrid, he had the 
good fortune to discover the existence of 
a secret alliance of the various branches 
of the Bourbon family. Considering this 
inimical to British interests, he revealed 
the information to the leaders of the 
British Government, with the result that 
George II. accorded him a free pardon for 
all former treasonable acts. The Act of at- 
tainder against him was reversed on 25th 
May, 1759. On his visiting England, he 
was graciously received by King George, 
who granted him authority to uplift 
£3618, besides accrued interest which had 
not been paid to the Government by the 
purchasers of his estates. In 1761, he 
bought back the lands of St Fergus, in- 
cluding the Castle of Inverugie, at the 
price of £12,620 10s, or thirty years' pur- 
chase of the rental of £420 13s 8d. After 
an absence of forty-six years, he resolved 
to revisit Inverugie, but, when nearing it, 
was overcome by his feelings, and retraced 
his steps. Frederick pressed him to re- 
turn to Prussia, •'Come," said he, "to 
ease, to friendship, and philosophy — these 
are what, after the battle of life, we must 
all have recourse to.'' The earl obeyed the 
summons, and lived on terms of the closest 
intimacy with His Majesty, by whom he- 
was made a Knight of the Black Eagle. 
He died peacefully at Potsdam on 28th 
May, 1778, aged 85. 

In 1766, the lands and caetle of Inver- 

ugie were acquired by James Ferguson of 
Pitfour (see Old Deer), with whose 
descendants they still remain. 

Till recently, the ruins of the castle — 
situated on the north bank of the Ugie, 
and about two miles from Peterhead. — 
consisted of a square central block 
with two corner towers, a gateway, and 
double court, with massive coped walls. 
Some believe that a portion was erected 
by John de Keith about 1380, but Messrs 
Macgibbon and Ross point out that no 
part of the structure can be referred to 
such an early period, and still less is there 
to support local belief that a " Cheyne 
Tower" was incorporated in the building. 
They favour the view of numerous authors 
that the castle was erected by Earl George, 
the founder of Marischal College, about 
the end of the sixteenth or beginning of 
the seventeenth century. It is evident, 
however, that his grandson, Earl William, 
carried out certain of the operations. 

Over the gateway was a stone panel with 
the Marischal family arms engraved upon 
it, while a separate stone bore the letters 
W. (for William) C. A. M. (for Countess 
Anna Morton), and the date 1670. 

The cope of the outer wall was orna- 
mented with figures representing a closed 
carriage drawn by four horses— an early 
illustration of such a vehicle in Scotland. 
Underneath were the initials G. B. (pro- 
bably those of the carver) and the date 
1670. In front were two outriders at full 
speed, the Scotch thistle, and a lion close 
to the gateway, while at the extreme south 
end of the cope was another figure. 

A fine coat of arms carved in oak was 
recently recovered, and an illustration of it 
was issued with "Scottish Notes and 
Queries " for May, 1893. At the top is an 
earl's coronet, while underneath are the 
arms of the Marischal and Douglas 
families. The letters W. E. M. (represent- 
ing William, Earl Marischal) and A. C. M. 



(representing Anna, Countess Marischal) 
and the date 1660 are also shown. 

The last Countess was permitted to live 
in the castle till her death in 1729, after 
which it quickly fell into decay. Indeed, 
it was looted by predatory bands from 
Peterhead, who, not satisfied with carrying 
away everything movable, stripped off 
the panelling and other fixtures. In the 
beginning of the last century, Mr Ferguson 
refloored and reroofed the building. As 
the repairs were not kept up, however, the 
roof fell in many years ago. On 22nd 
April, 1890, a westerly gale blew over the 
main or western tower, which contained 
the principal staircase, and reached a 
height of about 100 feet ; and again on 
1st January, 1899, after a three days' gale, 
what was called the Cheyne Tower gave 
way. The clearing away of the debris, and 
the carrying out of blasting operations to 
remove such portions of the walls as were 
insecure, so weakened the ruins that it 
became necessary to almost entirely 
demolish them. 

The utter ruin of the castle and the 
alienation of the property and lands from 
the Keith family were felt to fulfil the 
old prophecy ascribed to Thomas the 

Invenigie by the sea, 

Lordless shall thy lands be, 

And underneath thy ha' hearth-stane 

The tod shall bring her bairns hame. 

Mr David Scott kindly states that the 
following articles from the castle are 
now preserved in the Arbuthnot Museum, 
Peterhead, namely — An ancient wall clock, 
an old bureau, a dainty cream jug, and a 
well-preserved flint-lock pistol, silver- 
mounted, with the letter " K." engraved 
on the silver plate. This pistol is said to 
have belonged to the last Earl Marischal. 

In earlier times the Marischal family 
buried in the church of the Dominican or 
Black Friars, situated on the north side 

of what now forms Schoolhill, Aberdeen. 
As late as 22nd August, 1510, Earl William 
granted the order on annuity of £10 out 
of the lands of Dunnottar. At the Re- 
formation their property reverted to the 
Crown, but in 1587 it was acquired through 
purchase by Earl George. Five years be- 
fore this, however, he erected a burial 
aisle or vault upon the east side of the 
graveyard of Dunnottar, a shield upon the 
door lintel of which bears the Keith arms, 
also the date and initials, 1582, G. K. It 
is probable, therefore, that the remains of 
his ancestors, which had been interred in 
the Black Friars Church, were exhumed 
and reburied at Dunnottar. This is the 
more likely seeing that the Earl almost 
immediately sold the Black Friars 
Church, Manse, etc., to David Anderson 
of Finzeauch, while the adjacent crofts 
with other properties were given in 1593 
for the support of Marischal College. 

Further interesting particulars are 
given in Pratt's " Buchan " (revised 
edition) ; Chambers's " History of Old 
Families" ; Barron's ''Barony Court 
Book of TJrie " ; Boyd's " Old Inverugie " : 
Privy Council Registers ; " Scottish Notes 
and Queries " ; Macgibbon and Ross's 
"Castellated and Domestic Architecture 
of Scotland " ; Hay's " Castles of 
Aberdeenshire " ; Macleod's " Castles of 
Buchan"; Ferguson's "Twelve Sketches"; 
Scots Magazine ; Pitcairn's " Criminal 
Trials " ; Jervise's " Epitaphs and Inscrip- 
tions " ; Burke's " Peerage " ; Kennedy's 
" Annals of Aberdeen," and the New Spal- 
ding Club's " Records of Marischal College 
and University." 


As already explained, the parish grave- 
yard stands on the Links, near the sea- 
shore. It is comparatively small, and the 
number of tombstones is not great. Many 
of the inscriptions record advanced ages, 



as well as long lists of families who had 
occupied farms for generation after 

Dr Beattie, the author of " The 
Minstrel," and '' for 43 years the illus- 
trious Professor of Moral Philosophy in 
Marischal College," who died on 18th 
August, 1803, spent portions of many 
summers at Peterhead, enjoying its baths 
and mineral waters, which were then 
famous. On those occasions he frequented 
the graveyard of St Fergus, doubtless at- 
tracted by its primitive situation and the 
feelings which it stirred. It is known that 
he expressed a desire to have his remains 
interred in the graveyard — 

Far from the haunts of men, 

And hum of city life, 
Where nature still holds ruling sway, 

And billows break in strife. 


A mural tablet — showing an angel and 
other ornamentation at the top — is in- 
scribed as follows — 

Here lye the bodies of Robert Arbuthnot and 
Beatrix Gordon his spous. He died aged 72 and 
she 76 years, and both in the year of our Lord 

The Arbuthnotts of that Ilk, in Kincar- 
dineshire, intermarried with the Earls 
Marischal ; and, accordingly, about 1560, 
three brothers of the Arbuthnott family 
came to Buchan, from which time they 
spelt their surname Arbuthnot. John, the 
eldest, bought the estate of Cairngall, 
while Robert and Alexander, the two other 
brothers, settled at Rora, Longside. 
Robert married and left two sons — John 
and Alexander. John was a notary public, 
and Alexander accompanied Earl Maris- 
chal to Denmark in 1589. John, the eldest 
son of Robert, married and left a son, 
Robert, who is commemorated by the 
above inscription. He settled at Scots- 

mill, near the Castle of Inverugie ; and of 
his marriage with Beatrix Gordon there 
were four sons — Alexander, who became 
minister of the parish of Arbuthnott; 
John, who was factor to Earl Marischal; 
William, who purchased the estate of In- 
vernettie, near Peterhead ; and Robert, 
who was a fanner in various parts of 

Tiie above Rev. Alexander Arbuthnot 
had three sons — John, Robert, and George. 
John, the eldest, studied medicine, and be- 
came a man of mark. He was physician 
to Queen Anne and the intimate and 
valued friend of Pope, Addison, Swift, 
Gay, etc. He was a celebrated wit, philo- 
sopher, and poet, and was the author of 
" John Bull " and many other satirical 
and poetical compositions. Robert, the 
second son, having been engaged with Vis- 
count Dundee at the battle of Killie- 
crankie, left Scotland, went to France, and 
settled at Rouen as a banker, where he had 
a successful business career, and became 
known as the philanthropic Robert of 
Rouen. He lived there in great style, the 
friend of the unfortunate adherents of the 
exiled King, as well as of others in dis- 
tress. Pope did not hesitate to pronounce 
him a superior man to his brother, the 
celebrated Dr John Arbuthnot. George, 
the third son, was an officer in the Guards. 
He lived some time in France, and after- 
wards entered the seivice of the Honour- 
able East India Company, in which he 

The foregoing particulars are chiefly 
taken from a manuscript history of the 
family ; and under Peterhead inscriptions 
and particulars of other descendants are 


A headstone bears the following inscrip- 
tion, the letters of the major portion of 



which were personally engraved by the 
erector — 

Dedicated by Peter Buchan, printer, Peter- 
head, to the memory of his infant daughter 
Janet Bucha-n, who died June 21st, 1826, aged 
ten months. 

Revere this spot ye passers by, 

Nor on it trample carelessly; 

For she whom parents' hearts held dear, 

Sweet Jessie Buchan' s dust lies here. 

And of his mother Janet Buchan, who died 
15th July, 1837, aged 82. 

Buchan's father, Peter Buchan, and his 
sister Janet (Mrs Davidson), are also 
buried here. 

Peter Buchan, son of Peter Buchan, 
pilot, was born in Peterhead in 1790, and 
claimed descent from General Buchan in 
Ratheu, the Cumyns, Earls of Buchan, and 
the ancient family of Irvine of Drum. He 
early manifested a love for the sea, and was 
promised a midshipman's commission in the 
navy. His father opposed the scheme, 
however, and, instead, sent him to learn 
the trade of a wheelwright. His heart was 
never in this work, and beyond giving him 
practice in the handling of tools, it did him 
little good. An early marriage to Miss 
Margaret Mathew, dressmaker, Peterhead 
— of which his father disapproved— led to 
paternal estrangement. 

Buchan was a diligent reader — poetry, 
ballads, and curious books proving a 
fascination for him. At the age of 24, he 
published a volume of poems and songs, 
entitled " The Recreation of Leisure 
Hours," which commanded immediate suc- 
cess. This fired him with the ambition of 
starting a printing press in Peterhead ; 
and, with that object, he taught himself 
copper-plate engraving. [n 1816, he pro- 
ceeded to Edinburgh and Stirling, and in 
the latter town he secured a ten days' in- 
sight into the technicalities of the printing 
art. Returning to Peterhead, he founded 
the " Auchmedden Press," which was of 

the most primitive order. Indeed, but for 
the innate genius and dogged determina- 
tion of the man, instant failure must have 
resulted. An idea of the difficulties con- 
tended with may be formed from the state- 
ment in the preface to his interesting 
volume, " Annals of Peterhead," that 
"having none who could assist me, I was 
obliged to be author, caseman, pressman, 
etc., and many of the following pages were 
never in MS., being actually composed 
while printing them." The press was 
worked by the feet instead of the hands, 
and took impressions from stone, copper, 
and wood, as well as from types, and would 
have answered equally well for printing on 
cloth. About 1822, Buchan went to 
London, where it is said he held an 
appointment at a salary of £150 a year ; 
but " Modern Babylon," as he styled the 
great city, had no charms for him, and he 
speedily returned to Peterhead. 

As a collector of old ballads, Scotland 
owes Buchan a debt of gratitude. In 1828, 
he published in two volumes "Ancient 
Ballads and Songs of the North of 
Scotland, hitherto unpublished, with Ex- 
planatory Notes." This work is most 
favourably commented upon by Sir Walter 
Scott in his introduction to the " Min- 
strelsy of the Scottish Border," adding, as 
it did, upwards of forty to the mass of 
recovered songs, while improving and com- 
pleting a number previously printed. 

A wonderfully complete list of the many 
works published by Buchan is given in a 
paper by Mr James Cameron, read to the 
Edinburgh Bibliographical Society on 14th 
December, 1899, and in an article by Mr 
W. L. Taylor, F.S.A. Scot., published in 
the Transactions of the Buchan Field Club 
for 1901. 

In 1831, Buchan removed to Aberdeen 
and in 1838 to Glasgow. Between 1844 
and 1846 he purchased a small estate at 
Dennyloanhead, near Stirling, to which lie 



gave the name of Buchanstone. The 
superior subsequently claimed the minerals, 
and an expensive litigation followed. A 
final decision having been given adverse 
to Buchan, he was obliged to sell. For the 
next two years, he resided with his eldest 
son, Dr Patrick Buchan, in Leitrim. In 
1S54, lie proceeded to London with the 
view of publishing another volume of 
"Ancient Scottish Ballads," but died sud- 
denly on 19th September. His remains 
were interred in Norwood Cemetery, 

His eldest son was Patrick Buchan, M.A. 
and M.D. of Aberdeen, and Ph.D. of Jena. 
He was the author of many excellent songs 
and ballads, legendary tales, essays, a few 
works or. geology, and a number of lec- 
tures. His second son was Rev. Charles 
Forbes Buchan, D.D., minister of Paisley 
Abbey, and subsequently of Fordonn. 
He wrote and published a number of 
small books, chiefly devotional. 


A wall tablet, showing cross-bones, angel, 
skull, bell, and sand-glass, has the inscrip- 
tion — 

1755. Here lies the body of lean Reid, 
daughter to lames Reid at Inverugie, factor on 
the estate of Mareschall, and Margaret Murray, 
his spouse. She departed this life 30th March, 
1755. aged 16. 

Fair lovely maid, thy voyage, alas ! how short, 
Scarce launch'd, when landed at the heavenly 

Pleasant in life; at death. 0. how resign'd. 
How rare such piety in so young a mind. 
Hark ! the angol sounds aloud. Ye dead arise ! 
And lo the grave the great command obeys, 
The waking virgin cloath'd in bright array, 
With joy serene salutes the glorious day. 

To the memory of the above James Reid. 
late in Alehousehill. who departed this life the 
third day of November, 1778, aged 78. 

Hear lies the body of Mr Robert Reid, eon 
of the above J. R. and M. M., preacher of the 

Gospel at St Fergus, who departed this life the 
23rd of June, 17—, aged 33. 

James Reid was for a long period factor 
for Mr Alexander Garden of Troup, ad- 
vocate, tacksman from the York Buildings 
Company of the forfeited estate of Earl 
Marischal. His wife, Margaret Murray, 
belonged to Elgin. Their son Robert 
studied for the ministry, but never held a 
charge, having died of consumption at the 
early age of 33. Mr Reid bought the 
property of Alehousehill (Ellishill), on 
which he built a small house in which he 

A tablet within an enclosure bears — 

Here lys the body of Margret Abernethie, 
eldest daughter of William Abernethie, Esq., 
of Crimonmogate, spouse to Ja. Reid in Bal- 
mure. who departed this life the 16th of April, 
1784, aged 34 years. Also the body of the said 
Jas. Reid, Esq., of Alehousehill, who departed 
this life the 8th day of August, 1825, aged 87. 

The above James Reid was the son of 
James Reid mentioned in the previous 
inscription. Like his father, he was for a 
time tenant of Balmure. He also bought 
a portion of the Alehousehill estate, on 
which he erected a residence. His eldest 
daughter, Margaret, married Rev. George 
Ross Monro, M.A., parish minister of 
Huntly, 30th August, 1803, and died 5th 
June, 1804. 

Over the above grave is a fine granite 
monument, inscribed as follows— 

Sacred to the memory of Captain William 
Anderson, late of H.M.'s 96th Regiment, fifth 
son of the Late James Anderson, Esq., Rispond, 
Sutheriandshire, died May, 1816, aged 36 years, 
and of Amelia, his widow, daughter of the late 
James Reid, Esq., of Ellishill, and grand- 
daughter of the late William Abernethy, Esq., 
of Crimondmogate ; died at Huntly 6th Nov- 
ember, 1866, in the 85th year of her age. In 
the hope of a joyful immortality her remains 
are interred in this vault. . . . 

Sacred to the loving memory of Catherine, 
3rd daughter of the late Captain and Mrs 



Amelia Reid Anderson, who died 28th March, 
1893. . . . 

Also of Georgina, last surviving daughter of 
the late Captain and Mrs Amelia Reid Ander- 
son, who died 20th October, 1900. . . . 

Dear as thou wort, and justly dear, 
We will not weep for thee; 
Oh ! who thot saw thy parting hour, 
Could wish thee here again? 
Gently thy parting spirit fled, 
Sustained by Grace Divine, 
Joy breathed in thy expiring sigh 
To think the fight was won. 

Captain and Mrs Anderson had a family 
of eight daughters, the last of whom — 
Georgina— died on 20th October, 1900. 


A four-sided monument bears the fol- 
lowing inscriptions — 

In memory of Margaret Milne, who died 25th 
February. 1819, in the 61st year of her age, and 
James Clark, her husband, farmer, Gallowhiils, 
who died 19th February, 1840, in the 82nd year 
of his age. 

In memory of Jane Clark, who died 1st 
January, 1844, in the 45th year of her age. And 
William Hastie, her husband, farmer, the 
Retreat, Longformacus, who died 26th August, 
1855, in the 68th year of his age, and were both 
interred in the churchyard of Hutton, Berwick- 

In memory of James Clark, merchant, Stone- 
mills, who died 10th November, 1860, in the 
66th year of his age. And Alexander, his 
brother, also merchant, StonemilJs, who died 
18th June, 1882, in the 71st year of his age. 

In memory of Andrew Clark, surgeon, St 
Fergus, who was born 23rd June, 1797, and died 
21st December, 1837. 

Now we know in part, but then shall we know 
even as we are known. 

Also Mary Ann, infant daughter of Alexander 
Hastie, Stonemille, who died 29th April, 1880. 

The above Andrew Clark, surgeon, was 
the father of Sir Andrew Clark, Bart., 
the eminent physician, whose mother was 
Amy or Amelia Anderson, Blackwater, St 
Fergus. Sir Andrew was born in Aber- 

deen on 28th October, 1826, and was edu- 
cated by his uncles, the above Alexander 
and James Clark, millers and merchants, 
Stonemills. He studied in Edinburgh, and 
graduated M.D. at Marischal College, 
Aberdeen, in 1854. Settling in London, 
he quickly secured a world-wide reputation 
as a physician. He counted amongst his 
patients Mr W. E. Gladstone, "George 
Eliot," and many other celebrities. 
He was President of the Royal College 
of Physicians, London, and was the 
author of many medical tracts, etc. 
He was twice married — first, to 
Seton Mary Percy, daughter of Captain 
Forster, R.N. ; and, secondly, to a 
daughter of Alphonso Doxat of Leyton- 
stone. He died at 16 Cavendish Square, 
London, on 6th November, 1893, survived 
by two sons and four daughters. His 
elder son, James Richardson Andrew 
Clark, who succeeded to the baronetcy, 
was nominated a C.B. in 1902, and is 
Colonel of the Royal Army Medical Corps 


A tombstone lying against the wall, 
having at the top the initials W. C. and 
M. S., with representations of a skull, 
cross bones, hour-glass, etc., is inscribed — 

Here lyes the corps© of William Chalmers, 
sometime tennent in Pittenheath, who departed 
this life December 22nd, 1757, aged 65 years. 
Also three of his children — Jannet, who died 
November 25. 1726, aged 5 years; Jane, Novem- 
ber 3rd, aged 6 months; and Elizabeth, April 
29th, 1736, aged 4 months. 

William Chalmers was the great-grand- 
father of Rev. Andrew Chalmers, St John's 
Mount, Wakefield, who has clone yeoman 
service in elucidating the early history of 
Buchan, of which he is a native. The 
Transactions of the Buchan Field Club 
contain many of his articles, which are a 
mine of reliable information to the student 
of topography and genealogy. 



A headstone beans — 

This stone marks the grave of Jas. L. Duff, 
Officer of Excise, who died at St Fergus, 12th 
Dec., 1826, aged 30. 

Another has — 

Here lyes the corps of George Purdie, some- 
time Gardner at Inuerugie, who departed this 
life the 11 of June, 1738, aged 73 years. Also 
here lyee the body of Iea.n Bannerman, spouse 
to the above George Purdie, who dyed Feby. 
the 7th. 1756, aged 80. 

Also here lyes the corps of Aelexr. Walker, 
sometime in Bauds of Drum, who died at Inver- 
ugie the 2 day of March, 1746, of age 65 years. 

George Purdie, besides being skilled as 
a gardener, attained considerable fame as 
" an herbalist and district leech." Large 
numbers of people waited upon him 
periodically for the purpose of being bled 
and treated to his innocuous herb ale and 
other concoctions. The site of his garden 
(the old bowling green) at the back of the 
castle is pointed out ; and in it herbs are 
still found. Wild roses also continue to 
grow from crevices in the old garden walls. 

A mural tablet— one of the oldest in 
the graveyard — bears the following in- 
scription — 

In hope of ane blessed resurrectioune here 
lyes the dust of John Robertson in Newseat, who 
dyed Iune 28. 1652. of his age the 49 year, and 
Elspet Grig, his spouse, who dyed February 26, 
1693. of her age the 82 year. . . . 

A wall tablet showing various emblems, 
etc., at the top, is inscribed thus — 

Hero lyes the corps of Mr Iohn Innes late 
minister of the gospel at Gamry, who departed 
this life the 14th of June, 1731, aged 82 
ears. . . 

Rev. John Innes, M.A., was ordained 
minister of Gamrie before 12th December, 
1675. He was summoned before the Privy 
Council on 7th November, 1689, for not 
leading the Proclamation of Estates, and 
sraying in terms thereof. He was deposed 
n 13th June. 1716, for praying for the 

Pretender and reading his Proclamation. 
According to Dr Scott (Fasti), he married 
Margaret Gordon, who, with a daughter, 
survived him. 

A headstone bears — 

Saored to the memory of Gilbert Thorn, 
farmer in Essie, St Fergus, who died 11th 
February, 1849, in his 80th year. 

Gilbert Thorn had one son and one 
daughter. The son — William — studied for 
the Church, took holy orders, and went to 

Several bearing the same surname have 
reached advanced ages, such as George 
Thom, farmer, who died in 1872, aged 92. 

A wall monument, displaying sundrj 
emblems, is inscribed — 

Under this ston lyes the corps of William 
Fraser, some time in Northessie, who departed 
this life Febrwarie, — , 1725, of age 59 years. 
Also the corps of Elizebath Robertson, his 
spouse, who departed this life the 20th of 
January, 1741, of age 73 years. Examplary for 
their piety and charity. Also here lyes the 
corps of William Fraser, some time at Stone- 
mill, who departed this life upon the 17th day 
of June, 1749 years, of age 55. 

Two mural tablets are inscribed re- 
spectively — 

Here lies William Henderson, one of the Town 
Clerks of the city of Edinburgh, who died of a 
lingering illness at Newseat, the place of his 
nativity, the 28th day of November, 1760, aged 
40. In business accute and upright, in dis- 
position benevolent and obliging. He lived 
esteemed and died regreted. 

Mr Hunter, town clerk, Edinburgh, 
kindly states that there is no trace in 
the Edinburgh records of the above 
William Henderson having been appointed 
either town clerk or depute. The prob- 
ability is that he was merely a clerk or 
writer in the town clerk's chambers. On 
11th February, 1747, he was admitted a 
" burgee and gildbrother " of the burgh of 




Edinburgh. " dispensing with the dues for 
the good services done by him to the in- 
terest thereof." 


Here lyes the corps of lean Willson, spous to 
William Stephen in Nevseat, who departed this 
life October 15, 1720, and of age 63 years. Here 
lies the corps of the abou William Stiven, who 
dyed 13th December. 1728. aged 63 years. Also 
here lyes the corpse of William Henderson, latr> 
farmer in Newseat, who died August, 1761. aged 
84 years Also the corpse of Margaret Steven, 
his spouse, who died Agust, 1764, aged 68. 

This tablet is embellished at the top 
with sundry funereal emblems, the scroll 
Memento Mori, the date 1721, and the 
initials W. S.— I. W. 

A tablestone bears the inscription — 

To the memory of Thomas Shevis, farmer, 
in South Essie, of this parish, who died the 30th 
day of December, 1824, aged 68 years. And 
Barbara Park, his spouse, who died the 23rd 
day of December, 1824, aged 58 years. 

" They were lovely in their life, and in their 
deaths they were not divided." 

The farm of South Essie formed part of 
the forfeited lands of Earl Marischal, and 
Alexander Garden of Troup, advocate, 
their tacksman, in granting in 1728 a new 
lease of South Essie to Alexander Ogston, 
imposed several peculiar conditions, among 
which were that neither Ogston nor his 
servants should drink brandy or other 
spirits unless the produce of Great Britain 
or British plantations, under the penalty 
of £3 Soots for each time and of void- 
ing the tack on thrice offending or upon 
being convicted so much as once of mer- 
chandising in or importing the same. 
Another condition was that the tenant 
should within two years plant ash, elm, 
or such proper timber as agrees with the 
ground, around the dykes of the "kail 

The following insciiption has a couplet 
which is often met with in varied forms— 

Sacred to the memory of John Sangster, who 
difd the 30th of December, 1848, aged 67 years. 

Also Margaret Sangster, his beloved wife, who 
died the 23rd of December, 1852, aged 78 years. 
Erected by their 6on John Sangster, of London. 
They were, but language fails to utter what, 
Think then what parents should be — they were 

William Sangster, who died the 4th April, 1882, 
aged 75 years. John Sangster, of London, died 
3rd March, 1890, aged 76 years. Margaret Gray, 
his cousin, died 30th June, 1890, aged 82 years. 
John Sangster, who commemorates his 
parents in such complimentary terms, after 
serving an apprenticeship as a merchant 
at Rora, went to London, where he en- 
gaged in business on his own account. He 
possessed much enterprise, and was one of 
the first to import dairy produce in quan- 
tity from Holland. Besides being an 
author, he ran for a time a commercial 
newspaper in London. He never married, 
and at his death the larger portion of his 
means went to his cousin, the above 
Margaret Gray. 

A well-proportioned cross of polished 
Peterhead granite has been erected at the 
grave of Alexander Scott, Peterhead, who 
died 10th December, 1860, aged 72, and of 
his wife, Ann Buchan, who died 19th April, 
1883, aged 87. 

Mr Scott was a most intelligent man, of 
fine character, and a favourite with all 
who knew him. His wife was a sister of 
Peter Buchan, the famous printer of 
Peterhead. To her watchful care, in- 
dustry, and frugality in eking out a 
slender income is due the credit of bring- 
ing up to manhood and womanhood a 
family of twelve. It was probably these 
characteristics which suggested the inser- 
tion of the motto ' ' A mo ' ' at the top of the 
cross and the following quotation from 
Shakespeare at the end of the inscription — 
" After life's fitful fever, she sleeps well." 
Mr David Scott, now librarian of the 
Public Library, Peterhead, is a son of the 
above couple. For thirty-five years he was 
proprietor and publisher of the " Peter- 



head Sentinel" — a temperate and highly 
respectable provincial weekly newspaper. 
He also printed and published many works, 
and conducted an extensive printing, litho- 
graphic, and general wholesale stationery 
business. He is married to Marion, second 
and only surviving daughter of William 
Thorn, the Inverurie poet. They have 
three daughters, who possess the heredi- 
tary literary talent. 

A lairstone, which is finely carved with 
elaborate scrolls and armorial bearings, 
has the following inscription — 

Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. 
Here lye the devot and learned gentilman Mr 
Richard Irvine of Cairnfield, who died anno 
1703, ae 77, 4 IVLI, and his spous Margart 

Aedie, anno , and at the right the religious 

gentilman Mr Cristophr Abererombie, S.I.S., 
who died anno 1702, ae 55, 7 IVNE. Memento 

Richard Irvine was a younger son of 
John Irvine of Artamford and of his wife, 
Beatrix, daughter of John Irvine of Pit- 
murchie and Lumphanan. About 1670, he 
acquired the estate of Cairnfield, the 
original title of which was Balgownie. 
It afterwards, for a time, was called 
Fraserfield, but for many years it has 
been known by its old name of Bal- 
gownie. Mr Irvine's wife, Margaret 
Aedie, was a daughter (or near relative) of 
David Adie or Aedie, of Newark, an Aber- 
deen merchant, who traded extensively with 
Dantzic. They had an only daughter, 
Elizabeth, who married John Gordon, 
some time Commissary of Aberdeen, and 
subsequently Civilist in King's College, 
Aberdeen. Mr Irvine possessed consider- 
able means, and loaned money extensively 
on the security of landed property. 
Among other lands to which he had sasine 
were Kirktown of Brasse (Birse), Balfour, 
etc., 25th April, 1659; Nether Park, 1st 
August, 1668; Kirktown of Rayne, 21st 
April, 1671 ; and Over and Nether Park, 
loth September, 1685. 

Captain Wimberley obligingly furnished 
many of the foregoing particulars, while 
others are based upon Colonel Forbes- 
Leslie's " Historical Narrative relative to 
the Irvines of Drum." 

A mural tablet — having at the top the 
representation of an hour-glass, skull, 
cross-bones, the initials W. P., and date 
1721 — is inscribed — 

Here lyes the corps of William Penny in Old 
Kirktown, who departed this life August 10, 
1721, and of age 65 years. 

O' what is man whose life's a span, 

He's vanity at best, 
Who lived weal and died 

In Heaven with God shall rest. 

Also lyes the corpse of Margaret Melven, 
who died June 17, 1774, aged 82. 

Members of the Penny family were long 
tenant farmers in the parish, and were 
justly respected throughout the district. 
They intermarried with the Inneses, as 
shown by the next inscription on a tablet 
alongside — 

Children of William Innes and Iannet Pennie. 
Here rests, we hope in the Lord, the corps of 
Gilbert Innes, who departed this life October 
30th, 1753, of age 35. Also Alexander Innes, 
aged 3 weeks. Also Isobel Innes, aged 12 years. 
Also the corps of Robert Innes, aged 4 years. 
Also the corps of the above William Innes, who 
died July the 9th, aged 79 years, 1756. Also 
the corps of Jannet Pennie, his spouse, who 
died the 27th of November, 1766, aged 81. 
Also the corps of Jannet Innes, his daughter, 
who died March the 26th, 1758, aged 36 years. 
Also here lies the corps of William Innes, late 
tennant in Old Kirktoun, son to the above 
William, who died December the 11th, 1755, 
aged 44 years. 

Died the 20th September, 1802, Jean Pennie, 
spouse to the above William Innes, aged 79 

The above branch of the Inneses repre- 
sents the forebears of the family of Stow, 
the immediate progenitor of which was 
George Innes, of the farms of Berryhill, 



Toddlehills, and Downiehills, near Peter- 
lioad. He was born in 1672, and married 
Jane Fraser in 1701. Their son, George, 
who was born in 1703, went to Edinburgh, 
and married Marion Lauder, daughter of 
David Lauder, of Huntly Wood, of the 
same line as Sir Thomas Dick Lauder. 
This George limes was the founder of the 
Stow fortune of upwards of a million 
pounds, and which gave rise to protracted 

A marble tablestone has the appended 
inscription — 

Inscribed as a token of sincere affection for 
their revered parents by their surviving family 

To the memory of their father, Alexander 
Lines, tenant of Old Kirktown, who died the 
11th October, 1799.. aged 43 years ; and of their 
mother, Elizabeth Johnston, who died 21st 
November, 1830, aged 74 years. Also of their 
beloved brother. James Innes, tenant of Old 
Kirktown, who died 3rd January, 1841, aged 
45 years. 

Also in memory of the said survivors, Janet 
Innes, who died 20th August, 1871, aged 81 
years. Margaret Innes, widow of Captain 
Geo. Anderson (who lies in the Churchyard 
of Peterhead), died 5th January, 1872, aged 79 
years. And Jane Innes, died 13th December. 
1872, aged 75 years. 

Alexander Innes was a son of William 
Innes and of his wife Jean Pennie men- 
tioned in the preceding inscription. His 
wife, Elizabeth Johnston, was a sister of 
Mr Johnston, Hillhead, Crimond. Their 
son, James, was believed by many to be the 
rightful heir to the Stow estate, of which 
he got a portion. His sister, Margaret, 
married Captain Anderson, of Hallmoss, 
Inverugie, and his nieces, who still survive, 
are Mrs John Logan, late of Lunderton, 
and Mrs Wernham, The Links, Peterhead. 

A wall tablet is inscribed — 

Here lys the corps of Alexander Dalgarno, 
laite tenent in Netherhill, who depairted this 
life October 25th, 1719, of age 86. . . . 

Here lyes the corps of lean Dalgarno, spouse 
to Mr Robert Cheyne, who departed thi6 life 
the 19 of Febreware, 1738, of age 64 years. 

Here lyes the corps of Mr Robert Cheyne, 
sometime schoolmaster at Saint Fergus. . . . 

Robert Cheyne, who died before 1745, 
bequeathed 100 merks Scots to the kirk- 
session, directing that the interest be 
applied towards " the education of poor 
scholars" at the parish school. 

A tablestone bears — 

In memory of Mr John Henderson, school- 
master at St Fergus, who served in that office 
for the space of 44 years, and departed this 
life the 18th day of March, mdcclxv., aged 70. 
Also of William, his son, who spent part of the 
last four years of his time as a student at the 
Marischal College of Aberdeen, and departed 
this life the 24 day of March, mdcclxiii. aged 

Sweet solitude; when life's gay hours are past; 
Howe'er we range in thee we fix at last, 
Toss'd thro' tempestuous 6eas the voyage o'er, 
Pale we look back and bless the friendly shore. 
Our own strict judges, our past life we scan, 
And ask if Virtue has enlarg'd the span, 
If bright the prospect we the grave defy, 
Trust future ages and contented dye. 

This stone is erected at the sole expence of 
Andrew, eldest son of the above deceased. 

A wall tablet is inscribed — 

To the memory of James Fraser, tenant in 
Neuseat of Saint Fergus, who died the 26th day 
of August, 1785, aged 59 years. Janet Fraser 
and 3 of her children are inter'd here. She 
was a daughter of Wm. Fraser, at Mains, and 
spouse of Alexr. Wat6on, schoolmaster, St 
Fergus. Also James Fraser, sometime tenant 
of the Farm of Savock of Lonmay, only son of 
the above named James Fraser; he died at 
Auquharney, 29th August, 1846, aged 62 years. 

An enclosed grave has a headstone bear- 
ing the inscription — 

Erected to the memory of John Kennedy, 
A.M., who was schoolmaster of this parish for 
the space of 52 years. He died the 24th April, 
1855, in the 87th year of his age. 

Also his sister Elspet, who died the 6th 
October, 1846, aged 69 years. 



Johu Kennedy was the son of James 
Kennedy, residenter in Turriff. He gra- 
duated in Arts at Marischal College in 
1803, and served his whole time as school- 
master at St Fergus — retiring from active 
service in 1836-7. 

The succeeding teacher was Robert 
Stuart, brother of Alexander Stuart, 
farmer, North Kirton. Both are now de- 
ceased, and interred in St Fergus grave- 

The next teacher was Rev. James Taylor 
who graduated in Arts at King's College in 
March, 1848. He afterwards became 
minister of Cookney, and died 31st 
January, 1904. 

Alexander Whyte succeeded. 

The churchyard was enclosed by a sub- 
stantial wall, and a tablet fixed into it 
bears the inscription — 

Erected at the expense of the Parochinere of 
St Fergus in the year 1751. Mr Robert Garden 

The wall has since been put into a con- 
dition of thorough order, the graveyard 
levelled up, and a plan of the graves drawn 


Upon an imposing site at Shielhill stands 
a neat, substantial church belonging to the 
United Free Church. For some time after 
the Disruption, the superior refused to 
allow a Free Church to be erected, but 
the promoters having complied with his 
stipulation that the edifice should stand 
at least one mile from the Parish Church, 
the site was granted. Several eminent 
ministers have held the charge. The first 
was Rev. Alexander Forbes Moir, M.A., a 
native of Strathdon, who was ordained on 
28th December, 1848, and continued for 
twelve years, till his translation to Wood- 
side, in I860. He is still senior minister 
of that charge, and is now resident at 
Cults. Rev. John Ross succeeded Mr 

Moir, and remained till 1870. The next 
minister was Rev. Alexander Linn, now 
of Cranstonhill United Free Church, 
Glasgow. He was followed, in 1877, 
by Rev. Peter Thomson, who died in 
1880. He was a native of Portsoy, 
and had a brilliant career at King's 
College, finally graduating M.A. He was 
the author of the " Life of David," one of 
the Bible class primers, edited by Professor 
Salmond. His death at the early age of 
29 was much deplored. The succeeding 
incumbent was Rev. John Skinner, who 
also had a distinguished University career. 
He removed to Kelso in 1886, and four 
years later was appointed Professor of 
Hebrew and Old Testament Exegesis and 
Criticism in the English Presbyterian 
Theological College, London. He received 
the degree of D.D. in 1895. The next 
minister was Rev. A. P. Davidson, M.A., 
who, after an incumbency of three years, 
emigrated to New Zealand, but is now 
settled at Skirling, in the Presbytery of 
Lanark. Rev. James Strachan, M.A., was 
ordained to the charge in 1890, but in 
May, 1903, accepted a call to the Belgrave 
Presbyterian Church, London. 

The present incumbent is Rev. John 
Rainy Wright, M.A. 


Blackwater gave the surname to a family 
who long owned the lands. Laurence de 
Foty, laird of Waterton and part of Rubis- 
law, who was Provost of Aberdeen in 1367, 
and again in 1385-90, married " Marjorie 
Blackwatre." Having thus acquired 

Blackwater, he, on 20th March, 1402-3, 
with consent of his wife and his son John, 
disponed half of its lands in favour of 
William de Dalgarno, laird of Fintry, 
afterwards known as Dalgarno-Fintry. 
Dalgarno was the founder of a family 
which had a prominent standing in St 
Fergus for three centuries. 



From the Watsons of Gairnhill descended 
George Watson, wine merchant, Calcutta, 
whose son, the late J. P. Watson, became 
proprietor of the estate of Blackford, 

Tradition asserts that there lie in the 
graveyard the remains of Sir Alexander 
Guthrie, laird of Ludquharn, who is said 
to have met with an ultimely end. 

The partially-broken font which per- 
tained to the old Parish Church is built 
into the churchyard wall. 

Near the graveyard is the " Mason's " or 
" Mess John's " Well, which never fails to 
give forth its refreshing draught. 

All traces have disappeared of the 
ancient fishing village of Drumlinie, which 
stood on the seashore to the east of the 
graveyard. It is said to have been buried 
by a prolonged sandstorm. 

On the links, in the middle of the 
eighteenth century, were held the Peter- 
head horse races, which drew large 
crowds from all the surrounding districts. 

As recently as 1805 a captain and a 
doctor met on the links for the purpose of 
fighting a duel. Fortunately, their 
seconds succeeded in settling the quarrel 
before the combat took place. 


Fetterangus was originally a small inde- 
pendent parish, and belonged to the family 
of Le Neym, subsequently passing to the 
Cheynes of Inverugie, hereditary Sheriffs 
of Banffshire, at whose instance it was in- 
cluded in that county. It continued to 
form a detached portion of Banffshire till 
1890, when, by an order of the Boundary 
Commissioners, it was incorporated in 

The parish chapel was dedicated to St 
Fergus— " Buchan's third great apostle" 

— and, along with the church of Inverugie 
—now known as St Fergus — was granted 
to the monks of St Thomas at Arbroath 
by Ralph le Neym about 1200. For nearly 
three centuries thereafter Fetterangus was 
supplied by a cleric from the Abbey at 
Arbroath. At the Reformation, the glebe 
was in the possession of Keith of Ludqu- 
harn, who seized the last vestige of pro- 
perty which belonged to the chapel. 

In 1574, Fetterangus, Deer, and Rathen 
had as their minister Rev. Gilbert 
Chisholm, formerly Prior of the Abbey of 
Deer, who had adopted the new faith. 
Two years later, his charge was reduced 
to Fetterangus and Deer alone. (See Old 
Deer.) In 1599, Rev. David Robertson 
was elected to Fetterangus and Inverugie. 
He used every effort to induce the 
parishioners of Fetterangus to attend 
service at Inverugie, or Longley — "their 
mother kirk " — and in 1603 a supreme 
effort was made by the Presbytery to com- 
pel them to do so. Ultimately a compro- 
mise was arrived at, under which the 
minister undertook to conduct the services 
at Fetterangus every third Sunday — ' ' the 
common Reidar " officiating on the other 
Sundays. Mr Robertson continued to 
hold the dual charge till 1618, when 
Fetterangus was formally attached to Old 
Deer, of which parish it still forms a 

The ruins of the ancient chapel may still 
be seen within the graveyard near the 
village of Fetterangus. The edifice had 
been very small, measuring about 33 by 
12 feet internally. The entrance was 
through the south wall, and about a third 
of its length from the west end. The old 
font, or holy water stone, is lying within 
the ruins, and is said to never get dry. 
The site of both the chapel and the grave- 
yard was originally a small knoll which had 
probably been a stone circle. At all 
events, a sculptured stone of waterworn 
whinstone was discovered in the graveyard 


23d 1 

in 1876, and a drawing of it is given in 
Vol. XII. of the Proceedings of the Society 
nf Antiquaries of Scotland. The following 
is a reproduction from a photograph — 

Tlie Presbytery records show that in the 
sixteenth century many of the laity were 
buried within the church, for which privi- 

lege a small fee was exacted. In 1604, a 
family of the name of Thomson, resident 
in Pitfour, gave much trouble by with- 
holding payment of the charge. They 
were summoned before the Church Courts 
for " burying their parents in the Kirk of 
Fetterangus without satisfaction of the 
penalty ordered in such cases." 


About thirty years ago, a large sum was 
subscribed in the district, and the grave- 
yard was put into order and enclosed by a 
substantial stone and lime wall upwards 
of six feet in height. A record of this 
excellent work is preserved in the following 
inscription on a tablet on the outside of 
the wall near the entrance gate — 




The tombstones are not numerous, but 
several of them form a feature rarely met 
with. This remark applies to the small 
headstones of half-circle and half-octagon 
shape, having the inscription — not on the 
face as in the usual way — but round the 
top. Some give the simple initials of the 
deceased, while others bear no letters or 
dates whatever. 

A large tablestone shows considerable 
ornamentation at the top, including a 
shield surmounted by the head and wings 
of an angel. On the shield are the initials 
A. G. and C. M., on the left of which is 
a skull, while on the right is a skeleton 
in an upright posture, all rudely carved. 
The inscription is — 

Here lyes, in hopes of a blessed resurrection, 
the corps of Alexander Gordon of Cloves, who 
departed this life Aprile the 22nd, 1710; also 
the corps of James Gordon, his son, who de- 
parted this life Aprile 21, 1712; also here lyes 
the corps of Charles Morison of Fetterangus, 



who departed this life the 26th January, 1733 
years ; also five children of Sir Robert Innesis 
and Dame Janet Gordon of Balvenie ; also Jean 
Morison spouse to Alexander Gordon of Cloves 
who died May 5, 1739, aged 65, also the body 
of Charles Gordon of Fetterangus who died 
October 4th 1767, aged 62. 

Thomas Gordon in Cloves — or Mon- 
auchty — in the parish of Alves, near Elgin, 
was the third son of Sir William Gordon, 
third Baronet of Lesmoir, and his wife, 
Christian Walker. He was twice married 
— first, to Janet Brodie, who died in 1666, 
survived by two sons, Alexander and 
William ; and, secondly, at Aberdeen, on 
1st July, 1668, to Helen Seton, and they 
had at least one son, James, who became 
minister of Kinloss, and a daughter, 
Katherine, with probably the above- 
mentioned Janet, who married Sir Robert 
Innes, grandson of the first baronet of 
Balvenie. The lands of Balvenie had left 
his family before Sir Robert's time, and 
few genealogists even mention that he was 

The above Alexander Gordon — who was 
the last Gordon in Cloves — married Jean 
Morison, probably a sister of Charles 
Morisou of the Pitfour family of that 
surname (see Old Deer), who acquired the 
lands of Fetterangus from James Scott of 
Auchtydonald, who had secured sasine on 
them on 28th January, 1706, for an annual 
rent of £65 15s 2d Scots. Of the family 
of Mr and Mrs Alexander Gordon, James 
died on 21st April, 1712, and Charles was 
served " heir general " to his father on 
20th May and 28th July, 1718. He 
married Margaret, daughter of Rev. 
Walter Stewart, parish minister of Ellon, 
and of his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of 
Sir John Forbes of Waterton. He was 
long in Cairnurchies, and acquired Fetter- 
angus from the above-named Charles 
Morison. His son, William Gordon, gradu- 
ated at Marischal College, Aberdeen, in 

1747, and on 22nd July and 13th August, 
1768, was served "co-heir of provision 
general " to his grandfather, the said Rev. 
Walter Stewart, who, during his ministry, 
had become proprietor of Fortrie, in 
Ellon. He married Katherine, daughter 
of Nathaniel Arbuthnot of Hatton, near 
Peterhead (Arbuthnot MS.), and on 2nd 
May, 1757, he secured from Charles 
Cumine of Kininmonth a " Moss Toler- 
ance," under which (says Rev. Andrew 
Chalmers) Fetterangus has ever since 
boiled its kettles with Kininmonth peats, 
and had the best of the bargain. He was 
the last laird of the Gordon surname to 
possess Fetterangus, having, about 1760. 
sold it to James Mackie. Many of 
these particulars have been furnished by 
Captain Wimberley, Inverness; Rev. 
Stephen Ree, Boharm; and Mr A. J. 
Mitchell-Gill of Auchinroath. 

James Mackie was some time in Castle- 
town, King-Edward, and married — first, 
Barbara, third daughter of John Fordyce 
of Gask, in the parish of Turriff. Mr 
Fordyce's affairs having become involved, 
Mr Mackie bought Gask about 1770. He 
married — secondly — Elizabeth, daughter of 
Captain John Forbes of Boyndlie, and 
widow of Baillie George Philips, merchant, 
Banff. (See Peterhead.) About 1770, Mr 
Mackie sold Fetterangus to the proprietor 
of Pitfour, to which estate it is still 

A small flat stone bears — 

Here lyes Margaret Taylour spouse to Will 
Watson in Corte-cramb, dyed 5 of May, 1690. 

Another alongside has the inscription — 

Here lies the body of George Taylor some- 
time in Cortiecramb. He died May, 1765, aged 
83. Also lean Reid his spouse and Agnes Watt 
his 2d wif. 

In describing Jean Reid as Mr Taylor's 
" spouse " and Agnes Watt as his " 2d 
wif," there is an ingenious variation of 
the substantive rarely met with. 



A tablestone within the area of the old 
church is inscribed — 

Here resteth the body of George Hay late 
of Thomiebank, Esqr, who died Janr 31st, 1751. 
He was son to Mr Iohn Hay, late Minister of 
the Gospel at Raffen and of Mrs Margaret Gor- 
don his consort, who were descended from I he 
noble families of Tvveedale and Gordon re- 
spectiwely, by their intermediate progenitors 
viz. Ranes and Buckie. 

Here also are reposited the bodies of Bar- 
bara Fordyce his spouse who died Aprile 9th. 
1768. And of Anne Hay their Daughter who 
died July 18th, 1766. 1 Cor 15 chap 57 ver— 
But thanks be to God which giveth us the 
victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

The above George Hay was a son of Rev. 
John Hay, M.A., who, in 1669, became 
minister of the parish of Rathven — his 
mother being Margaret Gordon, of the 
Buckie family of that surname. He was 
proprietor of Thomiebank before 12th 
March, 1713, when he was served heir to 
his deceased father. (Retours.) He 
married Barbara Fordyce, younger 
daughter of Rev. Alexander Fordyce, 
minister of the parish of Rafford, sister 
of Thomas Fordyce of Ayton, Writer in 
Edinburgh, sometime factor to the York 
Buildings Company, and of Christian 
Fordyce, who married Rev. John Stuart, 
minister of Inveraven. It was no doubt 
through his brother-in-law's influence that 
Mr Hay was induced to settle near Fetter- 
angus as lessee of Gaval. Of his family, 
Anne was baptised at Rafford on 28th 
Ma i eh, 1709, and died as above, while 
Margaret, on 29th January, 1740, was 
married to Rev. John Forbes of Pitna- 
calder, the famous parson of Deer. (See 
Old Deer.) 

A small flat stone has the following in- 
scription — 

Here lyes the corps of Alexander Park, hus- 
band to Mary Taylour in Cairnurchies who de- 
parted out this life upon the 18th of May, 1724. 

A tombstone has the following unusual 
form of supplementary tribute to the 
person commemorated — 

He never courted the favours, nor was dis- 
mayed at the frowns of any man. But on a 
principle, founded on religion, he uniformly 
adhered to what was honest and right; and, in 
consequence, was by his superiors esteemed, and 
by his equals respected. 

One of the oldest stones in the grave- 
yard is a small flat one, which has the 
appended inscription — 

Here lyes William Taylour in Gauel, who de- 
pearted this lyf March 9, 169-. 

Another old stone bears the inscription — 
Here lyes the corps of lean Robertson, spovs 

to Robert Mvrro in Gavel, vho vas intered the 

27 of April, 1681. 

It will be noticed that the above is one 
of the old forms of the surname Murray. 

A tablestone has — 

To the memory of Alexander Morison, son to 
Alexander Morison in Little Elrick, who died 
5 Sep 1783, aged 19. Also William Morison his 
other son who died Nov the 6, 1790, aged 31. 
Also Jean Miln spouse to Alexander Morison, 
in Little Elrick. She died Sept. 20, 1801, aged 
70 years. Many daughters have done virtu- 
ously, but thou excellest them all. 

Also the foresaid Alexander Morison, ten- 
nant in Little Elrick, who died Feb. 4, 1807, 
aged 82. 

Called from this fleeting stage in shining bloom 
Of youth and beauty to a better home, 
What tho' my race of life was early run 
The young believer dyes, but not too soon. 

It will be noted that the above flattering 
certificate to Mrs Morison is taken from 
Proverbs, xxxi., 29. These Morisons were 
of the same family as that of Fetterangus, 

A tablestone has the inscription — 
Here lies in hopes of a Blessed Resurrection 
the children of John Davidson and Isabel Mill, 
in Little Mains of Pitfour. Rachel Davidsun, 
who died June 4, 1791, aged 25. And John 
Davidson, who died Dec. 13, 1791, aged 19 



years. Also the first named John Davidson, 
who died March th28, 1804, aged 80. Also 
Isabel Milne, his spouse, who died Feb. 7, 1813, 
aged 80. 

Death often lays the young ones low, 

And spares tho hoary head ; 
Ye living youths be wise in time, 

And learn from the dead. 

A tablestone in the area of the old 
church, having at the top emblems of a 
skull, coffin, sand-glass, bell, cross-bones, 
and crossed spades, bears the following 
inscription — 

Here lyes the body of George Fraser some- 
time in Cortiecramb, who dyed October thl2, 
1726, and of age 77 years. 

Iii 1696, Fraser had an annual fee of £5, 
and his poll tax was8s6d. (Poll Book.) He 
is said to have been wounded in the battle 
of Killiecrankie, in which he fought as a 
trooper. He belonged to Perthshire. 

An old tablestone has on one of the end 
.supports — 

las. G. and A. A. 


And on the other — 

This stone is erected by lames Greig at 
Wakemill of Hythie and Anne Alexander, his 

The principal inscription on the stone is 

A headstone bears — 

Hero rest in hope of a happy Resurrection 
the body of Alexander Milne, late in Mains of 
Auchtiedonald, who died 29 November, 1828, 
in the 59 year of his age. A virtuous and 
affectionate Husband and a sincere Christian. 

This melancholy tribute of respect is given 
to his memory by his sorrowing widow Mar- 
garet Sim. 

A headstone in a railed enclosure within 
the area of the old church bears — 

Sacred to the memory of Margaret Fraser. 
Born at Brieneden, Abernethy, Aug. 26, 1798, 
Died at Toux, Old Deer, Dec. 5, 1874— William 
J. Grant, Born Feb. 7, Died April 15, 1840. 

John Grant, born March 26, 1828. Died at 
Shanghai. China, Sept. 6. 1862. George Arthur 
Grant, Born Jan. 1st, 1836; Died at Umritsir, 
East Indies, October 21st, 1864. Alexander 
Grant, husband of Margaret Fraser, born at 
Braes of Abernethy, November 15, 1793, died at 
Toux, Old Deer, Sept. 19, 1876. Elizabeth J. 
Grant, born Sept. 28, 1829, died at Schoolhouse, 
Fetterangus, Feb. 28, 1887. Alexander Grant, 
M.A., M.D., born Nov. 19, 1837. Died March 
15, 1904. 

Alexander Grant, when a young man, 
was employed as gamekeeper to Lord Fife 
at Duff House. He afterwards acted in 
the same capacity for Admiral Ferguson 
at Pitfour — subsequently becoming tenant 
of the farm of Toux. Of his family, the 
eldest son, John, was for several years 
factor for Mr Duff of Drummuir. He 
ultimately went to fill a mercantile situa- 
tion in China, and died at Shanghai as 
above. The second son, George Arthur, 
was a doctor in the Indian military service, 
and died from the effects of a fall from his 
horse. The third son, Alexander, had an 
extensive practice as a doctor in the East 
End of London, where he was esteemed for 
his medical skill, and respected for his 
integrity and generosity. He married a 
daughter of Rev. Mr M'Kechnie, Congre- 
gational minister in Stuartfield. 

A headstone bears — 

Here lies the wife of The Rev. Mr Fisher, 
New Leeds. 

Resting in hope. 

This inscription is probably unique, in- 
asmuch as it does not give the Christian 
name, age, nor date of death of the lady 
commemorated. It is known, however, 
that she was Jane Wilson, wife of Rev. 
William Fisher, of the United Presby- 
terian Church, New Leeds, and died 
about 1853. Mr Fisher left New Leeds 
in 1868, and died at Leven, Fifeshire. 

A tablestone bears — 

To the memory of Charles Reid, Farmer in 



Mains of Kinninmonth, who departed this life 
on the 30th June. 1851, aged 77 years. 

He on the Name of Christ relied, 
In Christian Hope he lived and died. 

And two breadths south from this stone is 
interred his beloved son, James Reid. who died 
on the 12th of January. 1857, aged 44 years. 

Respected by all who knew him. 

And of Ann Simpson, spouse of the said 
Charles Reid, who departed this life on the 
28th Novr.. 1861. aged 77 years. 


The village of Fetterangus was founded 
by Mr Ferguson of Pitfour in 1772, and 
forms practically one long street. Besides 
a public school, it has a church, which was 
re-erected by the United Presbyterians 
in 1882. The first regularly ordained 
minister of it was the present incumbent, 
Rov. David Conochie, who, as assistant to 
Rev. Hugh Glen, of Stuartfield, had for 
some time previously discharged the 
ecclesiastical duties at Fetterangus. 

The Church of Scotland has also a chapel 
of ease or mission church in the village, 
in which service is held every Sunday. It 
is subordinate to the Parish Church at 
Old Deer. 

The most prominent building, however, 
is the hall and institute, opened on 4th 
May. 1896. The following date and in- 
scriptions are upon the gable facing the 
roadway — 


The latter title was conferred in apprecia- 
tion of the handsome contributions made 
to the building and equipment fund by 
Rev. Andrew Chalmers, Wakefield, who 
was the moving spirit in securing the 
erection of the structure. He also pre- 
sented to the Institute Library upwards of 
1500 carefully selected volumes. In 1897, 
and again in 1905, he presented to the 
members and friends of the Institute copies 

of a complete printed catalogue of all the 
books " in the earnest hope that the 
number of readers" might "soon be 
largely increased." (See also under St 

The hall has accommodation for about 
300. At the back of the platform are 
displayed a model of the old village drum 
and the old village horn. The former is 
said to have been used to rouse the 
labourers on a fine morning, and the latter 
when the morning was unsuitable for 
outside work. 

In 1696, John Dalgarno, tenant of the 
large farm of Crichie, Kintore, was heritor 
of Kirktown of Fetterangus, which had 
then a valuation of £80 per annum. 

Further interesting particulars regard- 
ing the early history of Fetterangus and 
district will be found in the respective 
articles " The Barony of Fetterangus " and 
" Early Protestantism beside the Ugies," 
in the Transactions of the Buchan Field 

Cabracb or Stratboovern. 

The name Cabrach is derived from the 
Gaelic, and is said to signify a place 
abounding in trees — a theory which is 
strengthened by the numerous remains of 
wood found in the district mosses. 

In early times, the parish was occasion- 
ally known by the title of Cloueth, and its 
church or monastery, which was dedicated 
to the Virgin Mary, depended upon Mort- 
lach. It is mentioned in the confirmation 
bull of Pope Adrian IV. to Edward, Bishop 
of Aberdeen, dated 1157. (Peg- Epis. 
Aberd., I., pp. 6 and 85.) In 1520, as one 
of the common churches of the chapter of 
Aberdeen, it was leased for ten pounds. 
In 1549, the whole parish church lands 
were leased by the bishop to Robert 
Lumisdane, at the rent of £9 6s 8d, plus 



one mart, twelve kids, four geese, and 
3s 4d for bondages, with services — the 
tenant being bound to defend the rights 
and liberties of the Church, and to resist 
heretics and enemies of the orthodox faith. 
(Ibid., p. 433.) 

The lands of Strathdovern were annexed 
to Cabrach by order of the Commissioners 
of Teinde, dated 27th February, 1665. 

The present parish church, which is of 
plain design, has no gallery. Internally, 
it has a neat and tasteful appearance. 

According to the session records, the bell 
was made at Aberdeen in 1782-3, the old 
bell being given in part payment. 


The parish of " Cabreth " was supplied 
by Thomas Christesoun, reader, from 1567 
to 1580, his salary being 16 lib. 

Rev. Alexander Hay held the dual 
charge of Cabrach and Rhyme in 1586. 
He removed to Dipple within three years 

The readership was held by James 
Warrok from 1588 to 1599. 

Rev. Peter Calmeroun or Cameron, 
M.A. — previously at Glassford — was in- 
ducted about 1608. 

Rev. Andrew Ker, M.A., was admitted 
from Glenbucket before 1652, but was 
retranslated thither about 1661 when "in 
decripit old age." (See Glenbuchat.) 

Rev. James Ross was inducted from 
Strathdovern about 1662. In March, 
1666, he was unable to attend the Presby- 
tery, being ' ' restrained by the Katherin ' ' 
(Cateran). In September following, his 
absence from Presbytery was excused 
" through the loosenes of the countrey, 
some parties of loose Highlanders being 
about the said fields." (New Spalding 
Club's "The Exercise of Alford," pp. 77 
and 86.) He was translated to Tarland 
and Migvie in the spring of 1668. 

Rev. John Irving was ordained in 1668. 
He soon quarrelled with his parishioners, 
one of whom called him "a dwarf and 
rogge," and a " dwarf bodie." The 
Presbytery interposed and suspended him, 
pending investigation. The cause of the 
minister was upheld, and he was reponed — 
" the people being rebuked for their in- 
solent carriage towards him." The storm 
broke out afresh, however, and he was 
ultimately deposed on 15th June, 1677. 

Rev. James Irvine was ordained in May, 
1678, and continued till the autumn of 
1681, when he is believed to have been 
removed on account of the Test. 

There is an old tombstone to the succeed- 
ing minister and one of his sons. It is 
inscribed — 

Here lyes Mr Alexander Brown, some tyme 
minister here, who departed this life the 53 
year of his age, July 13, anno. 1705. Also. 
the Rev. William Brown, his son, minister of 
the Gospel, Burnside, Auchindore, who died 
16 March. 1772, aged 86. 

Rev. Alexander Brown, M.A., was in- 
stituted 30th April, 1682. Dr Scott 
(Fasti) records that he was obliged during 
his incumbency to live in a furnished room 
at a considerable distance from the church 
for want of a manse. Besides the above 
son William, he had a son, John, who 
graduated in Arts at King's College on 
loth April, 1725. 

Rev. William Anderson, son of Rev. 
George Anderson, D.D., Professor of 
Divinity in King's College, was ordained 
as successor on 12th March, 1707. Two 
years subsequently he was translated to 

Rev. Robert Gray was ordained on 30th 
January, 1711, but was translated to 
Edzell in 1714. 

Rev. David Strang or Strange, who had 
been officiating as a preacher at Glenlivet, 
was ordained as successor on 15th May. 
1717. He was suspended in 1729, and 



finally deposed on 11th March, 1730, for 
neglect of duty and other faults. He is 
said to have afterwards lived in Edin- 
burgh, where he solemnised irregular 
marriages till excommunicated and im- 
prisoned. Even in jail he continued his 
illegal practices. He died in confinement 
on 1st September, 1744, aged 70. 

Rev. Theodore Gordon was ordained on 
17th February, 1731. He was the son of 
William Gordon, in Drumbulg, Gartly (not 
of Professor George Gordon as inadvert- 
ently stated by Dr Scott and other 
writers), and graduated M.A. at King's 
College on 29th March, 1722. For some 
time he acted as schoolmaster of Cairnie. 
He married " Ann Gordon, eldest daughter 
of Mr George Gordon, Professor of 
Oriental Languages, King's College." 
(Tablet at Kennethmont.) They had a 
son, George William Algernon Gordon, 
who became minister of Tullynessle, and 
subsequently of Keith. (See Tullynessle.) 
Mr Gordon expressed his sorrow to the 
Presbytery on 10th November, 1736, for 
having " given offence by going to see a 
rope-dancing at the Brick Hills of Old 
Aberdeen." He was translated to 
Kennethmont in 1738, where he died 29th 
August, 1779. His grandson, Theodore 
Gordon of Overhall, erected a tablet 
bearing a highly complimentary inscription 
to his memory. 

The succeeding incumbent was Rev. 
Thomas Gordon, only son of Rev. James 
Gordon, minister of Kinloss (1699-1750) ; 
grandson of Thomas Gordon in Monauchty, 
otherwise in Cloves ; and great-grandson 
of Sir William Gordon, third Baronet of 
Leemoir. He was a student at Marischal 
College, 1722-26, was licensed by the 
Presbytery of Forres in August, 1734, and 
ordained minister of Cabrach, 25th June, 
1740. From the outset he made strenuous 
efforts to get the financial and other affairs 
of the kirk-session put upon a sound basis. 

In this, however, he was only partially suc- 
cessful, several minutes, etc., having been 
carried off by the clerk, who enlisted as a 
soldier. On 12th February, 1747, Mr 
Gordon was inducted to the parish of 
Auldearn, and died there, unmarried, on 
25th November, 1793. It is interesting to 
add that he and his father were parish 
ministers for the long period of 104 years. 
The two succeeding incumbents are com- 
memorated by tablets in the church. The 
oldest one has a carving of the Gordon and 
Grant arms impaled, surmounted by the 
motto, "Bydand." The respective in- 
scriptions are — 

Before this stone lyes Elizabeth Grant, late 
spouse to Mr James Gordon, minister here, 
who died March 9, 1771, aged 46 yrs, and yr 
two sons, viz., George and John Gordons. 


To the memory of the Rev. James Gordon, 
minister of Cabrach, who died the 6th of April, 
1795, aged 77 years. 

Also of the Rev. John Gordon, his son, 
minister of Cabrach, who died 29th of October, 
1816, aged 49 years. And of his son, Robert 
Gordon, who died 19th June, 1817, aged 19 

This stone is erected as a mark of esteem 
and affection by Elizabeth Gordon, widow of 
the Rev. John Gordon, who also died 29fh 
January, 1819, aged 46 yrs., and was likewise 
interred here. 

Rev. James Gordon was schoolmaster 
of Rhynie, 1740-47 ; licensed by the Pres- 
bytery of Strathbogie, 18th September, 
1745, and ordained to Cabrach 5th 
November, 1747. On 19th December, 
1751, he married Elizabeth Grant, whose 
parentage is not stated in the parish 
registers. Besides the family above 
stated, they had a daughter, Elizabeth, 
who, on 30th July, 1789, married Rev. 
Thomas Tait, minister of Meldrum (1784- 
98), and subsequently of Ellon. 

Rev. John Gordon, son of the preceding, 



studied at Marischal College, 1783-87, and 
was inducted to Cabrach on 24tb Sep- 
tember, 1795. A daughter, Jane, married 
Captain John Grant. 

Rev. William Cowie was the next 
minister. He graduated in Arts at King s 
College, 31st March, 1806, was appointed 
schoolmaster of Mortlach in 1811, and was 
ordained to Cabrach on 6th August, 1817. 
He married, on 8th November following, 
Elizabeth Ogilvie, who belonged to the 
parish of Forglen ; and of their family a 
son, David, and two daughters, Mary and 
Sophia, were born at Cabrach. He was 
translated to Cairnie in 1826, and died 
31st May, 1866, aged 80. 

The succeeding incumbent is interred in 
a railed-in enclosure, over which is a coffin- 
shaped monument, with a large red granite 
shield or plate on the top, inscribed — 

The Rev. James Gordon, A.M., Minister of 
Cabrach for 23 years. Died 29th December, 
1849, aged 65. 

Rev. James Gordon was the son of 
Alexander Gordon, miller, Aberdeen. He 
attended Marischal College, was Gray 
mathematical bursar and gold medallist 
in 1822, graduating M.A. on 31st March, 
1823. He became master of the Mathe- 
matical School, Aberdeen, and, securing 
licence as a preacher of the Gospel on 19th 
October, 1826, was ordained minister of 
Cabrach on 28th March, 1827. He died 
unmarried as above. 

A granite tablet in the inner wall of the 
cburch bears the inscription — 

The Reverend Gordon Smart. M.A., minister 
of the parish of Cabrach for upwards of 31 
years, died on the 21st February, 1882. aged 68 

Erected by heritors, parishioners, and friends 
in loving remembrance of an earnest and 
assiduous pastor, a pious and accomplished 

An esteemed and lamented friend. 

Rev. Gordon Smart was the son of 
Robert Smart, Badcheir, Cabrach, and 
graduated M.A. at King's College, Aber- 
deen, in March, 1842. As parish minister 
he was much esteemed. He died a bachelor. 

The present incumbent is Rev. George 
Gilfillan Macmillan, who was licensed by 
the Presbytery of Glasgow in 1880, and 
was ordained to Cabrach on 10th August, 


A headstone bears the inscription — 

To the memory of John Gordon, late farmer 
in Aldivalloch, who died 14th September. 1836, 
aged 50 years. And of Jane Walker, his wife, 
who died 25th February, 1861, aged 73 years. 
Also of Alexander Gordon, late farmer, Aldi- 
valloch, who died 11th December, 1875, aged 
55 years. 

James Gordon was the principal tenant 
of Aldivalloch in 1696; and amongst other 
Gordons who have since resided there may 
be nained — Robert Gordon in 1712, Charles 
Gordon in 1724, and Paul Gordon, who, in 
August, 1768, married Margaret Gordon, 
who belonged to Cabrach. The last-named 
was buried on 7th April, 1789. John Gor- 
don and his wife, Jane Walker, who be- 
longed to Glenbuchat, were married on 
18th December, 1814. Besides the son, 
Alexander, mentioned in the inscription, 
they had at least two daughters, Beatrice 
and Helen. (All from Parish Registers.) 

The name Aldivalloch has been rendered 
historical through the popular and stirring 
song, " Roy's Wife of Aldivalloch " ; and 
the subjoined extracts from the old session 
records, now in the Register House, Edin- 
burgh, are believed to refer to the marriage 
of Roy and his wife— " 1727, January 29. 
Tt being found yt John Roy, lawfull son 
to Thomas Roy in Aldvalloch, and Isabel 
Stuart, lawfull daughter to ye deceased 
Alaster Stuart, sometime in ye said Ald- 
valloch, were contracted in order for 



marriage they were this day proclaimed 
pro 1 mo." On February 5th and 12th, 
they were proclaimed for the second and 
third times, and on the 21st of the same 
month the said "John Roy and Isabel 
Stuart were married." Their first-born 
child was baptised on 25th February, 1728, 
and received the name of Thomas, after 
his paternal grandfather. 

The composition of the common version 
of the song of " Roy's Wife " is attri- 
buted to Elizabeth Grant, daughter of 
Lieutenant Joseph Grant, who married her 
first cousin, Mr Grant of Carron, Strath- 
spey, after whose death she married Dr 
James Thompson Murray, of Bath, and 
died there on 26th February, 1828 (not 
iu 1814, as stated by the majority of 
authors), aged 82. (Bath Registers.) 
Her portrait was exhibited in Aberdeen 
in 1859, during the sittings of the British 
Association, and it attracted much atten- 
tion. It belonged to the Earl of Seafield. 
It may be pointed out that an older and 
less refined copy of the song — alleged to 
have been written by a shoemaker in 
Cabrach — is locally asserted to be the 
original, while against Mrs Grant 
-Murray's authorship is urged the fact 
that she was not born till about nineteen 
years after the occurrence of the incidents 
narrated in the song, when they would 
have ceased to create interest. 

Margaret Roy, a descendant of the 
family of Aldivalloch, died in December, 
1859, aged 74. 

One of the most interesting tombstones 
is that to Alexander Scott, farmer, 
Aldunie, " in which place his progenitors 
sojourned for several generations," who 
died 7th March, 183-, aged 85. It gives 
the advice — 

Reader be admonished ! 
You are moving on to meet the 
King of Terrors. 

Scotts occupied Aldunie as early as the 
middle of the seventeenth century. The 
tenant in 1673 was John Scott, from whom 
the above Alexander Scott was descended 
The holding even then frequently received 
its Lowland name of " Old-downie." The 
admonitory advice cannot fail to remind 
one of the story of the old man who, when 
visited in his final illness by the parish 
minister, and asked if he was ready to 
meet the King of Terrors, brusquely 
replied — " I might well be, for I've lived 
now for 40 years with the Queen of 

The following inscription from a head- 
stone gives an idea of the difficulties and 
dangers that have to be encountered 
during the frequent severe snowstorms 
which occur in this exposed and high- 
lying parish — 

Sacred to the memory of Gordon William 
Stuart, 4th son of William Stuart, Ardwell, 
Cabrach, who lost his life by a slip of snow 
when abstracting sheep out of the burn of 
Hillock, on the 30th January, 1865, aged 19 

Weep not for me my parent, 

Brothers and sisters dear, 

I am not dead, I am sleeping here. 

My end you know, 

My grave you see, 

Prepare yourselves to follow me. 

This stone is erected to his memory by his 
sorrowing parent. 

A headstone on a railed-in grave is in- 
scribed — 

Sacred to the memory of Jane, daughter of 
Rev. A. Wither, who, on 6th July, 1877, after 
16 days earthly sojourn, was taken home for 
ever to be with the Lord. 

"Of such is the kingdom of heaven." 

Rev. A. Wither was minister of Cabrach 
U.P. Church. He is now retired, and 
living in Edinburgh. 

There are several tombstones to families 
bearing the surname of Souter, many of 




whom died octogenarians. Among others 
may be mentioned John Souter, Nether 
Howbog, who died 1st May, 1834, aged 88, 
and his wife, Margaret Robertson, who 
died 28th August, 1840, aged 88. William 
Souter, Buck, died 6th June, 1869, aged 
86. His first wife, Jane Gordon, died 25th 
August, 1837, aged 45, and his second wife, 
Ann Kellas, died 22nd February, 1865, 
aged 72 ; while his daughter Jane died 5th 
April, 1895, aged 74. David Souter, also 
in Buck, died 10th April, 1883, aged 53, 
and his wife, Ann Reid, died 20th Septem- 
ber, 1868, aged 41. His son James died 
21st July, 1888, aged 27 ; and William died 
4th March, 1890, aged 25. 

A tablestone is inscribed- 
Here lies the body of John Grant, late in 

Shenual, who died the 14th January. 1814, aged 


Done by the care of his widow Jannet Innes. 

A tablestone has the following inscrip- 
tion — 

Erected to the memory of Robert Grant, late 
farmer in Largue, who died 5th February, 1848, 
aged 78 years. And of Janet Gordon, his wife, 
who died 3rd June, 1858, aged 76 years. Also 
of their son John Grant, farmer in Largue, who 
died 3rd March, 1869, aged 59 years. 

The name of this holding probably means 
hillside or slope. 


A tablestone has at the top the repre- 
sentation of an angel, while at the foot 
figures of a skull, cross bones, and hour- 
glass are given, together with the scroll 
" Memento Mori." The inscription is — 

Here lyes John Gordon, sometime farmer in 
Drwmferg, who dy'd July 21, 1759, aged 51 
years, lafwl husband to Elisabeth Gordon. 

John Gordon is believed to have been a 
grandson of Alexander Gordon, fifth laird 
of Birkenbura, his parents being Peter 
Gordon, in Haddoch of Cabrach, and his 
wife, Bessie Gordon. He was some time 

in Auchmair, and subsequently in Drum- 
fergue. He was a keen Jacobite, and was 
" out " in the '45. In consequence he was 
treated with great rigour, which under- 
mined his system, and he died at the ago 
of 51. According to the late Mr Jervise 
and Captain Wimberley, he was the father 
of Lieut. -Colonel John Gordon, of the 92nd 
Highlanders, who died at Coynachie 27th 
March, 1827, aged 75, and whose widow- 
Elizabeth Soutar — died at Aberdeen 23rd 
April, 1842, aged 82. Their eldest son, 
William Gordon, M.D., one of the Judges 
of the Supreme Court and member of H.M. 
Council of the island of Jamaica — who 
married twice and left a family — died at 
Elgin 26th January, 1838, aged 52. John, 
the other son, was a General in the Royal 
Engineers. He died at Culdrain in 1861, 
and was buried at Drumblade. He was 
twice married — first, to a daughter of Rev. 
Dr Skene Ogilvy, minister of Old Machar ; 
and, secondly, to Jane, daughter of Andrew 
Macpherson, Gibston, Huntly. Of their 
family, William was a Lieutenant in the 
Royal Artillery, and died unmarried in 
1875 ; while Cosmo George was a Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel in the Royal Marine Light 
Infantry, and was afterwards in Culdrain. 

A tablestone has the inscription — 

In memory of John Gordon, late farmer in 
Gaugh, who died 27th July, 1813, aged 70 years. 
Also three of his children, Ann, Janet, and 
Alexr., who died young. 

Done by the care of his son Peter. 

Also of Isabel Scott, wife of the above said 
John Gordon, who died in 1818, aged 71 years. 
Also of Hellen Lindsay, wife of the above said 
Peter Gordon, farmer in Reekimlane, who died 
25th February, 1852. aged 69 years. Also of 
their son Charles Gordon, who died 4th June, 
1838, aged 20 years. Also the above Peter 
Gordon, who died June 20, 1874, aged 94 

The name Gaugh is frequently spelt 
Gauch, and the holding is occasionally 
called The Dauch. 



The tradition as to the origin of the 
name Reekimlane is interesting. It is 
declared that during a famine nearly all 
the people left the district, and that this 
house had the only " reeking lum " to be 
seen, the inmates supporting themselves 
by fishing in the local burns. (Place 
Names of West Aberdeenshire.) 

Gaugh, or " Geach," was tenanted in 
1696 by Peter Gordon; in 1785 by John 
and Adam Gordon ; and in 1825 by Peter, 
Alexander, and John Gordon, the rental 
of each of the three last-named being 2 
hens and £33 6s 8d money. 

The first-named John Gordon married 
Isabel Scott, daughter of Alexander Scott, 
farmer, Hillock, Lower Cabrach. Their 
son, Peter, on 5th June, 1808, married 
Hellen Lindsay — a native of Glenbuchat— 
and was long tenant of Reekimlane. He 
died at the advanced age of 94. Besides 
the son Charles above mentioned, there 
were one daughter and four sons — Chris- 
tina, who died in Aberdeen; John, who 
married Jauuet, daughter of James Sheed, 
farmer, Aldunie, and died in Reekimlane 
on 15th February, 1882, aged 70; Peter, 
who died in Aberdeen (he was a glass and 
china merchant, and under his deed of 
settlement bequeathed to the parish of 
Cabrach a hursary of the annual value 
of twenty pounds — boys bearing the sur- 
name Gordon to have a preference) ; 
and William, who graduated M.A. at 
King's College in March, 1847, and was 
some time assistant schoolmaster of Fyvie, 
then schoolmaster of Auchindoir, there- 
after minister of Glenbuchat, and subse- 
quently of Glenbervie, who died 14th 
May, 1902, aged 78. (See Glenbuchat.) 
The surviving son is Alexander, who 
resides at Aldivalloch. 

Reekimlane is now tenanted by Peter 

A tablestone alongside is inscribed — 
In memory of Adam Gordon, farmer, Pyke, 

who died 15th March, 1770, aged 63 years. 
Also his daughter Rachel Gordon, who died 
22nd November, 1769, aged 18 years. Also his 
son James Gordon, farmer. Bank, who died 
1st November, 1836, aged 83 years. Also his 
son John Gordon, farmer, Oldtown, who died 
3rd July, 1847, aged 86 years. 

The above Adam Gordon, who married 
Charlotte Hay, of the parish of Rhynie, 
met his death under tragic circumstances. 
He had a large flock of sheep wintering 
in the neighbouring parish of Auchindoir, 
and, a severe snowstorm coming on, he 
left home with the view of giving the 
shepherd assistance. He perished in the 
snow at a point east of the Moss of Creak, 
where a cairn of stones — still known as 
Pyke's Cairn — was raised to his memory. 

It may be added that these Gordons of 
Gaugh, Reekimlane, Pyke, and Bank all 
claim descent from the old Gordons of 

A tablestone, which shows at the top 
the head of an angel and at the foot a 
skull, coffin, hour-glass, and bones, as also 
the scroll " Memento Mori," is inscribed — 

This stone was erected by Alexander and 
John Gordons in Auchmair in memory of 
Patrick Gordon, their father, who departed 
this life May the 19th, 1788, in the 73rd year 
of his age. 

Death of all men is the total sume, 
The period unto which we all must com ; 
He livs but a short life that lives the 

And he is weak in death that in life was 


In 1727, John Gordon, tenant in Auch- 
mair, married Isabel Burgess. In 1767, 
William Gordon, Auchmair, married Ann 
Ross, who belonged to Glenbuchat, and 
they had a large family. Early in the 
following century, William and Alexander 
Gordon were joint tenants at a rental of 
4 hens and £38 money. The former, on 
29th November, 1810, married Jean 

Q 2 



Pyper, Cabrach ; and the latter, before 
1820, married Margaret Gordon, who died 
11th June, 1866, aged 76. Alexander Gor- 
don himself died on 26th April, 1871. Of 
their family, William Gordon, who was 
born 9th April, 1820, occupied Auchmair, 
and, on 13th February, 1851, married 
Elizabeth, daughter of James M'Combie, 
sometime in Nether Ardwell. He died 
10th February, 1899; and his son, Alex- 
ander Gordon, is the present tenant of 

Patrick Gordon, who is commemorated 
by the above inscription, was a merchant 
at Ardwell at the time of his death. His 
widow and the two sons mentioned in the 
inscription carried on the business for a 
time. John, the younger, took the " kiss 
and coin from the Duchess," and joined 
the 92nd Highlanders, serving in many of 
the campaigns in Egypt, Portugal, Spain, 
and at Waterloo. He married and ulti- 
mately settled in Aberdeen. Alexander 
Gordon, the elder brother, left Auchmair, 
and settled at Fichlie, Towie, where he 
died 19th December, 1843, aged 84. His 
wife, Flspet Gordon, was a native of 
Cabrach, and died 18th June, 1822, aged 
60. Besides two of a family who died in 
infancy, they had five sons, of whom the 
eldest, Alexander, settled at Upper Ley, 
Towie; the second, John, at Lower Ley; 
and the remaining three, Peter, James, 
and William, at Fichlie, Towie. Alex- 
ander Gordon in Upper Ley, who died 
22nd July, 1866, aged 78, was twice 
married — first, to Margaret Smith, who 
died 9th January, 1818, aged 33, and of 
their children, Alexander married, and 
has a family in America ; John settled in 
Braidley, and, besides a daughter Jane, 
had another daughter, Annie, who married 
Peter Anderson. Of Alexander Gordon's 
second marriage to Margaret Kellas, 
daughter of Hugh Kellas, Tornachelt, who 
died 29th January, 1850, aged 52, there 

were three sons and four daughters — 
Peter, who died without issue, 15th May, 
1852, aged 26 ; James, who married Ann, 
daughter of Peter Gordon, Fichlie, 
and died 20th April, 1902, aged 67; 
their son, Hugh, became tenant of 
Ley, Towie. Alexander Gordon's other 
son, Hugh, married, and has family in 
Australia. Of the daughters, Annie 
married William M'Conachie, and is now 
a widow residing in Keith ; Jane married 
Peter Ellis, of which family there are 
representatives in Windyside, Sinnahard, 
Keith, etc. ; Catherine married J. Mac- 
donald, and they have family now abroad ; 
Isabella married Alexander M'Intosh, and 
they have a family, of whom some are in 
Kildrummy. John Gordon, second sur- 
viving son of the above Alexander Gordon, 
Fichlie, settled in Lower Ley, and died 
23rd April, 1871, aged 82. He married 
Jane, daughter of Robert Forbes, farmer, 
Upper Towie, a descendant of Forbes of 
Brux. She died 15th May, 1825, aged 40. 
Their son, John Gordon, J. P., was long 
the enterprising and successful tenant of 
Upper Towie, from which he recently 
retired, and is now resident at Lum- 
phanan. His father married, secondly, 
Jane Forbes, a cousin of his first wife; 
and besides three daughters, Elspet, Jane, 
and Mary, they had six sons — Alexander, 
Peter, James, George, William, and 
Charles, who all went to Victoria, Queens- 
land, New Zealand, and America. 

Peter, James, and William Gordon, the 
remaining sons of Alexander Gordon, first 
of Fichlie, succeeded to that farm. Of 
these, James married Kate Dawson, 
Aulton, and, like his brother William, left 
no family. Peter, the eldest of the three, 
married Jane Shand, daughter of James 
Shand, Nether Ballandy, Glenrinnes. He 
died 22nd December, 1870, survived by his 
wife, who died 31st May, 1881. Of their 
family, Alexander is the present farmer of 



Braeside, Leochel-Cushnie ; Elspet married 
Alexander Gordon, son of the late John 
Gordon, Lower Ley (they are now in the 
United States) ; Isabella married Alexander 
Glennie, farmer, Invernochty, Strathdon : 
Ann married James Gordon, son of the late 
Alexander Gordon, Upper Ley ; and Jane 
is unmarried. 

The parish, in the eighteenth century. 
was truly the home of the Gordons, as 
shown by the foregoing particulars, and 
by the following list of twelve married 
couples (each of whom had a family), ex- 
tracted from the old registers between 1755 
and 1782 — Hugh Gordon and Marjory 
Russell in Bracklach ; Patrick Gordon and 
Ann M'Kondachie in Nether Ar dwell ; 
Adam Gordon and Jean Marshall in Old- 
town ; Adam Gordon and Isabell Gordon in 
Craigencat ; James Gordon and Margaret 
Gordon in Kirktown ; Robert Gordon and 
Agnes Green in Gauch : James Gordon and 
Anna Bonnyman in Hillock of Echt, and 
subsequently in Bank ; John Gordon and 
Jean Baxter in Hillock of Echt ; Theodore 
Gordon and Margaret Thomson in Craigen- 
cat, and afterwards in Whitehillock ; James 
Gordon and Jane Brown in Kirktown : 
James Gordon and Helen Grant in 
Tornachelt ; Francis Gordon and Isabell 
M 'Robbie in Hillock of Echt. 


In 1687 it was reported to the Pres- 
bytery that " there is no school, the parish 
not being able to afford any provision 
competent for a schoolmaster." Matters 
seem to have improved, however, for in 
1728 John Clerk, student in philosophy, 
was elected at a salary of £3 6s 8d. He 
was also appointed precentor and session 
clerk ; aud, in lieu of the former emolu- 
ments of 16s 8d from these offices, it 
was agreed to give him " for his en- 
couragement" the penalties exacted from 

Among other teachers who held office 
during the last century may be mentioned 
John Murray, M.A. ; John Yeats, M.A. : 
George Cran, and Rev. William Ronald. 
The last named is said to have been 
descended from the Macdonalds of 
Keppoch, and was probably the son of 
Patrick Ronald, sometime in Upper 
Wheedlemont, who died at the School- 
house, Cabrach, on 23rd April, 1831, aged 
89. He officiated not only as school- 
master, precentor, and session clerk, but 
also as parish registrar. In the last- 
mentioned capacity he received a notice 
of the vaccination of a child, which is here 
given (from Jervise's MSS.) as an illus- 
tration of how liberties are sometimes 
taken with the King's English — 

Mr William Ranle, 

My Wife got on the Nocklecaction en 
her Son : they reasen fine and she was bedden 
let you knaw. 

William Duncan. 

D. Mitchel his the Shedel. 


Cabrach originally formed a forest, and 
the Chamberlain Rolls (Vol. III., pp. 385 
and 531) show that its glens were at one 
time pastured by the Royal stud. 

In 1373-4, Robert II. granted to William, 
Earl of Douglas, the lands and forest 
which had previously pertained to David 
Brown of Glandriston. (Reg. Mag. Sig., 
I., No. 47.) 

In 1508, the lands and forest were 
granted by the Crown to Alexander, third 
Earl of Huntly, who, in the same year, 
disposed of them to his kinsman, James 
Gordon of Auchmully. (Ibid., XV., No. 
140.) The Huntly family re-acquired the 
possessions shortly afterwards, and the 
portions capable of being cultivated or 
pastured were, in 1600, divided into 21 
holdings and leased to 26 tenants, who 
paid an aggregate rent of 366 merks 



money and 17 stones butter. The tenants 
were chiefly landed proprietors and allies 
of the Huntly family, who in times of 
stress would be expected to support the 
cause of their chief. A copy of the rental 
at the date stated is given in the Mis- 
cellany of the Spalding Club (Vol. IV., 
pp. 279-82), and the following names of 
some of the holdings and tenants appear 
in it: — Auchmair and Ouer Howboigc, 
young Gordon of Lesmoir ; Elrick, James 
Gordon of Knokaspack ; Baldebaes, Johne 
Gordon of Newtoun; Rochefindzeauche, 
George Gordon of Tarpersie ; Learge, 
George Gordon of Couclarachie ; Torna- 
kelt, James Gordon of Prony; Reidfuird, 
John Gordoun in Lichestoun ; Nether 
Howboige, Robert Gordoun in Andett. 

In 1669, Parliament granted to Charles, 
Earl of Aboyne, authority to hold an 
annual public fair at the Kirk of Cabrach 
on the 3rd Tuesday of August and two 
following days. The reason assigned for 
the granting of this privilege was that the 
lands of Kirktown of Cabrach " are public 
places of resort and lie upon the hie way 
betuixt the hellands and lowlands." (Acts 
of Parliament.) 

In 1686, the Duke of Gordon received 
Parliamentary powers to hold three yearly 
fairs in the parish. 


The estate of Lesmurdie, or Lesmorthi — 
extending to about 2000 acres — belonged 
to the family of Strathachin (Strachan) at 
an early period, and in 1474 the proprietor, 
George Strathachin, had a confirmation 
charter of a third part of Balchere, 
Enuercheroche, and Auchnastank. (Reg. 
Mag., Sig. VII., No. 278.) 

In 1562, a descendant, James Strachan, 
had a grant of the goods and estate of 
Alestir M'Grasycht (the old form of the 
surname Grassick), at the Mill of Les- 
murdie, which had fallen to the Crown. 

The family of Strachan of Lesmurdie 
continued in the male line until about 
1663, when James Strachan was succeeded 
by five grand-daughters as heirs portioners. 
One of these ladies — Elspet Strachan— 
married James Stewart ; and by arrange- 
ment with all interested Stewart became 
proprietor of Lesmurdie. He was so 
designed in 1667, when he and his wife 
were scheduled as " professed papists." 
A descendant married Margaret, eldest 
daughter of Mr Duff of Keithmore, 
ancestor of the Earls and Duke of Fife. 

May Stewart, only daughter of William 
Stewart of Lesmurdie, married Peter 
Farquharson of Whitehouse, and died on 
1st April, 1849, aged 84. (See Tough.) 


In the autumn of 1592 a roving band of 
the Clan Mackintosh entered Strathbogie 
and gathered together a large quantity of 
plunder. While returning by way of 
Cabrach they were overtaken by a small 
body of horsemen under the Earl of Huntly 
and Sir Patrick Gordon of Auchindoun. 
After a sharp skirmish, the marauders 
were completely routed — about sixty men 
and the spoil being left in the hands of 
the victorious Gordons. The exploit is 
commemorated by an old ballad, which 
includes the following lines — 

O, Willie Mackintosh, 0, Willie Mackintosh, 

Whaur left ye a' yer men? 
Ye've left them in the granea o' the Gauch, 

Feeding the Cabrach swine. 

The forces of the Earls of Huntly and 
Erroll mustered at Cabrach prior to the 
battle of Glenlivet, which was fought on 
the 3rd of October, 1594. 

John Duff of Bowmakillock, the staunch 
friend and follower of Montrose, who was 
taken prisoner, with others, on the down- 
fall of that leader in 1650, effected a 
miraculous escape here. Through having 
had grazings in the district, he was well 



known to the inhabitants, and on the 
soldiers reaching the inn for refreshments 
while on the march south with their 
prisoners, the landlord and his assistants 
at once recognised Duff, taking care, 
however, to conceal the fact. Means were 
taken to get the soldiers intoxicated, and 
during the debauch Duff was assisted to 
make off. 


At Forteath, stone coffins, constructed of 
rough, undressed slabs, and containing 
human bones, clay urns, etc., have been 
unearthed. Flint arrow-heads and stone 
axes have also beeu got in the same 
locality. In other portions of the parish, 
remains of the stone age have been dis- 
coveied, and the numerous arrow-heads 
which have been met with support the view 
that their owners had been keen followers 
of the chase. 

A century ago, a Roman Catholic chapel 
stood at Bracklach, and several of the 
earlier priests served as professors at the 
College of Scalan, Glenlivet. A second 
chapel was situated at Shenval, in the 
Lower Cabrach, and was in good order as 
late as 1816. 

Within the last century, the old village 
of Horseward has entirely disappeared, 
and the ground which its inhabitants were 
wont to cultivate is now covered by bent 
and heather. In addition, nearly one 
hundred dwelling-houses in the valley of 
the Deveron, where hardy sons and 
daughters were brought up in peace and 
contentment on wholesome country fare, 
are now in ruins. A decrease has also 
taken place in the neighbourhood of Aldi- 
valloch, Bridgend, etc. An idea of this 
general parochial reduction may be formed 
from the fact that whereas the population 
in 1831 was 978, it had dropped in 1901 
to 581. 


The parish has been described as " remote 
and inaccessible," as also " the coldest and 
bleakest district in all Scotland." (Gor- 
don's Chronicles of Keith, p. 216.) The 
late Principal Sir William D. Geddes calls 
it a " famous parish," and adds that " Be- 
sides possessing a hospitable and hard- 
headed people, who have to carry on a 
great struggle with Nature, it is a parish 
unique in this respect — that, in common 
parlance (as old as 1435, in Lord Craw- 
ford's 'Earldom of Mar,' I., p. 258, etc.), 
it can claim a distinction of its own, being 
known as The Cabrach. It therefore ranks 
above a parish, as, if a district or province, 
like 'The Enzie,' 'The Garioch,' 'The 
Mearns.' " (New Spalding Club's " Musa 
Latina Aberdonensis," I., p. 305.) 

From Rhynie a good road leads past 
Lesmoir and Belhinny, and on to the 
Parish Church. It passes through excel- 
lent scenery, and what strikes the tourist 
on a summer day as remarkable are the 
high wooden poles which run almost 
parallel to the roadway and are fixed at 
regular distances for many miles to guide 
the traveller in the winter season, when 
snow renders the ordinary road impassable. 

The Dukes of Gordon, and subsequently 
the Dukes of Richmond and Gordon, as 
proprietors of the lands, have ever proved 
themselves considerate and indulgent. 
Late and wet spring seasons frequently 
retard the seed sowing, and owing to early 
frost on the one hand and a backward 
summer on the other the crops occasionally 
prove a failure. In such cases the utmost 
consideration is shown by the proprietor 
to his tenants, who have always been an 
industrious, contented, and warm-hearted 

Between 1693 and 1700, " the seven bad 
years," the parish suffered severely 
through a succession of adverse seasons. 
The upper district became almost tempor- 



arily depopulated, and the few families 
who remained were driven to such straits 
that they bled the handful of cattle and 
sheep which remained. The blood thus 
obtained was carefully mixed with a little 
meal, and this was considered a luxurious 

In former times the parish was famous 
for its cattle kings or coopers, as they 
designed themselves. They were excellent 
judges of both cattle and sheep, which they 
bought extensively in the north and drove 
south to such markets as Amulree, Falkirk, 
Edinburgh, and Brechin, where they were 
disposed of to English dealers. These 
Cabrach dealers were inured to all sorts of 
labour and danger. They are said to 
have known no fatigue and were proof 
against fear. They accustomed themselves 
to extraordinary journeys. Walking one 
hundred miles in twenty-four hours was a 
trifling experience, and the extensive 
transactions of those times would surprise 
the modern dealer ! Perhaps the last and 
certainly one of the most famous of the 
parish cattle kings was Mr Scott, Milton, 
who died a few years ago. The sons and 
daughters of the cottar population went 
south every autumn to engage in harvest- 
ing operations. They carried their reap- 
ing hooks with them, for scythes and 
reaping machines were then unheard of. 
It is said that upwards of fifty men and 
women left Cabrach every summer to 
engage in these operations. Many 
travelled to the Borders on foot, and 
the following lines of the poet will show 
the length of a Cabrach shearer's journey 
and his rate of progression — 

His breakfast Rooky Buck did see, 
He took his supper in Dundee ; 
And yet before he curbed his speed 
He saw the bonny banks of Tweed. 

A century ago smuggling was largely 
engaged in, upwards of a score of illicit 
stills being in active operation. The 

whisky thus manufactured was carried in 
curracks for disposal to Aberdeen, Brechin, 
and Dundee. Stories are still told of the 
sharp encounters which took place between 
its carriers and the preventive officials. 

" The Buck of the Cabrach " is a pic- 
turesque hill of about 2368 feet in height, 
and is said to have derived its title from 
a large projecting stone near the top. 
Several other hills exceeding 2000 feet in 
height are on the boundaries of the parish. 

Cabrach has long been renowned for its 
hill game, from which fact the Richmond 
Hotel was designated "The Grouse Inn." 

The parish is watered by the Deveron, 
Blackwater, and several minor hill burns. 
They are all subject to occasional heavy 

The Cabrach formed the subject of one 
of the famous Duchess of Gordon's broad 
Scotch conundrums to the Englishman who 
boasted that he understood and could 
explain any Scotch expression. Several 
versions are recorded, the following being 
one — 

Ther' wis a quinyie [corner] in our quinyie. 

An' it wis ca'd " The Cabrach " ; 
It dang [rained] on for sax ouks [weeks], 

An' never eence devall'd. 

The oldest parish register contains 
numerous entries regarding the severity 
of the winters of former times. Between 
2nd November, 1722, and 10th February, 
1723, there was no complete church service 
owing to " the coldness of the day," " the 
great storms of snow and drift," or " the 
great storms and frost." On 5th December, 
1725, there was " no sermon in regard of 
great drifts of snow, none being able to 
come out of a house." 18th December, 
1727 — "In regard of the great storms of 
snow, the session supersede all their former 
affairs." 30th December, 1739— No ser- 
mon " by reason of a violent storm of 
snow and drifts so that no body was able 
to look out, etc." 9th January, 1740 — 



'"Being the Fast Day the storm having 
oome on so vehemently that by excessive 
drifts no body was able to attend." 20th 
January, 1740 — " No sermon in regard 
the storm was rather growing than ceas- 
ing, so that none was able to travel this 
length." 27th January, 1740—" This day 
being nothing calmer than the last, there 
was no sermon." 



This interesting parish, which embraces 
the thriving seaport and town of Fraser- 
burgh, is situated in the north-eastern 
portion of Aberdeenshire, at the entrance 
to the Moray Firth. It is uncertain when 
the parish was actually formed, but under 
the ancient name of Philorth — the deriva- 
tion is doubtful — it is referred to in many 
deeds of the thirteenth century. From an 
early period a village stood upon the site 
of the eastern portion of the town. It was 
known by the name of Faithlie ; and, 
before 1382, was convoyed, along with a 
small tract of adjoining ground, including 
the rocky headland of Kinnaird Head, and 
the more extensive lands of Tyrie, by 
Walter, Earl of Ross, to Andrew Mercer. 
Charter evidence shows that Faithlie re- 
mained in the possession of the Mercer 
family down to 1504, when it was sold by 
Sir Henry Mercer of Aldie to William 
Fraser of Philorth. 

By charter granted by Queen Mary, 2nd 
November, 1546, Alexander Fraser, the 
proprietor of the period, had the village 
erected into a free burgh of barony, carry- 
ing all the usual privileges. This progres- 
sive step aroused the jealousy of the city 
of Aberdeen — its Town Council and citizens 
holding that their prior-dated rights were 
thereby imperilled and encroached upon. 

A lengthened quarrel and litigation fol- 
lowed. The Burgh R-ecords of Aberdeen 
show that on 18th January, 1561, "the 
ha ill town being warnit consentit to 
persew to the final end the actionne and 
caus niovit and persewit be thame agauis 
Alexander Fraser of Phillorth anent the 
preuilege vsurpit be him of ane fre burght 
in the towne of Faythlie, contrar the 
libertie and aid preuileges of this burgh 
[of Aberdeen]." As may be supposed, 
nothing resulted from this hostile action, 
and subsequently the rights of Faithlie 
were confirmed by a Royal charter, with 
the additional grant of a free port, and 
free regality to be called in all time 
coming the burgh of Fraserburgh. In 
honour of the conferring of the new title, 
and as an admonitory advice to the 
residenters, Rev. David Rattray, the 
parish minister, composed a Latin epigram, 
which in English is — 

The King, O Fraserburgh ! has given to thee 
A name, through ages known to knightly 

Long flourish thou ! upheld by piety ; 

And aye be mindful of thine honoured name. 

The latter privileges were conferred 
during the ownership of Alexander Fraser, 
the eighth laird of Philorth, who (Craw- 
furd's Lives of Officers of State, p. 283) 
enjoyed an eminent degree of favour with 
James VI. Indeed, it is known that more 
than once he relieved that impecunious 
monarch, and played an important part in 
the negotiations which preceded the Royal 
marriage. Upon 30th August, 1594, he 
received the honour of knighthood, this 
being the occasion of the baptism of 
Prince Henry, eldest son of the King. In 
Sir Alexander Fraser's case, the ennoble- 
ment was deservedly bestowed, for he 
maintained a high standard of honour in 
all his actions, and no proprietor ever 
strove harder for the advancement of his 
parish and people. Soon after he succeeded 



to his extensive estates, he began to build 
a large and beautiful town, which he 
adorned with public buildings and streets 
of a width then almost unheard of. He 
induced skilled artisans, wealthy mer- 
chants, and relatives of his own who had 
entered into trade to settle in the town ; 
and the advantages resulting from this 
beneficent and far-sighted policy are felt 
to the present day. 


Among other Crown rights which he 
secured for the advantage of the town was 
one to erect " an university equal in 
privileges to any other in the kingdom." 
Certain authors express doubt as to 
whether this university was ever in work- 
ing order, while others deny that its 
buildings were even erected. That the 
college was built is beyond question. Upon 
16th December, 1597, five years after the 
Royal power to build had been granted, 
the Scottish Parliament passed the follow- 
ing Act (abridged and modernised in 
spelling) — 

. . . Parliament understanding that Sir 
Alexander Fraeer . . being of deliberate 
mind and purpose to erect an university . . . 
has begun to edify and build up colleges which 
not only will tend to the great decoireuient of 
the country, but also to the advancement of the 
lost and tint youth in bringing them up in 
learning and virtue, to the great honour and 
weill of our . . . nation, which honourable in- 
tention made and to be made by the said Sir 
Alexander upon his exorbitant and large ex- 
penses ought and should be furthered and ad- 
vanced, and the said Sir Alexander not only 
allowed thereunto, but also helped and sup- 
ported to do the same. Therefore, . . 
Parliament, for the further advancement of the 
said burgh and colleges, and for the sus- 
tentation .... of masters, teachers, and 
officemen within the colleges of the same, has, 
with express consent and assent of the said 
Alexander, marked, given and mortified the 
parsonages, vicarages, prebendaries, chaplain- 
ries, and altarages of the parish kirks of 

Philorth, Tyrie, Crimond, and Rathen, whole 
teinds . . and emoluments whatsoever, and 
. . . disponed the same to the said college 
. . . Providing always the said ministers . . 
cither serve the duties of the said kirks, or 
then the said masters . . furnish sufficient 
men for serving the duties of the said kirks, so 
that the parishioners be not deprived of the 
Sacraments, teaching, and preaching of the 
word of God. 

We thus have evidence that the parish 
ministers of Philorth, Tyrie, Crimond, and 
Rathen were to act as professors in the 
College ; and further important light is 
thrown upon the matter by the subsequent 
action of Rev. Charles Ferme, minister of 
Fraserburgh, in refusing to accept the 
appointment of College Principal whilst 
continuing his pastorate of the parish, till 
he was specially ordered to do so by the 
General Assembly of March, 1600. This 
order was made upon the initiative of the 
Presbytery of Deer, whose printed supplica- 
tion to the Assembly describes the College 
as completed — i.e., "the Laird of Philorth 
having erectit ane Colledge." (Book of 
the Universall Kirk, III., p. 958.) 

In view of these facts, it seems absurd to 
argue that not only Sir Alexander Fraser 
and the minister of Fraserburgh, but also 
the level-headed members of the Presby- 
tery of Deer, would have stultified them- 
selves to the extent of permitting the 
appeal to the Assembly of 1600 to be pro- 
ceeded with had the scheme not been at 
the time an accomplished fact. The like- 
lihood is that its speedy collapse was 
brought about by Mr Ferme's persecution 
and imprisonment by the Government, Sir 
Alexander Fraser's financial embarrass- 
ment produced by extensive unremunera- 
tive schemes, its inability to compete with 
its powerful and more richly-endowed 
rivals, King's and Marischal Colleges, 
Aberdeen, and the lack of students in 
attendance. Probably the editor of 
the Records of Marischal College and 



University, printed by the New Spalding 
Club (Vol. I., pp. 78-9), in dealing with 
the question gives a fair and unbiassed 
summary of the facts, and his remark 
that "' for five sessions the work of 
the newly-founded College probably 
went ou without interruption" will 
be noted with especial interest. A 
large house which formerly stood in 
High Street, and was demolished iu 1898, 
is believed to have been erected with 
materials removed from the College build- 
ings. According to Pratt's " Buchan," 
some of the stones built into the front of 
this house bore the inscription — 

Trust in God, for He is good. 
His mercy is for ever. 
Give him thanks for all you have. 
For He'6 the only giver. 

The old Statistical Account, in describing 
the erection of a new schoolhouse in the 
town, states that there was built into it a 
good freestone carving of Moses and the 
Teu Commandments, found in the College 
of Fraserburgh, and said to have been in- 
tended for the altar-piece of its chapel. 
Moses was portrayed in a reverent and 
studious attitude, with one hand pointing 
to the tables bearing the commandments. 
Underneath was a scroll bearing the 
words — 


The school was acquired by the East Free 
Church congregation, who had the tablet 
built into the vestry of their church, where 
it still is. 


It is probable that the beautifully-carved 
pendants hanging from the arched roof of 
the upper room of the Wiue Tower had been 
long ago removed from the College Chapel 
and fixed there. Several bear a close 
resemblance to those in the Chapel at Both- 
well Castle. Messrs Macgibbon and Ross 
(Castellated and Domestic Architecture of 

Scotland, Vol. II.) give excellent illustra- 
tions of these pendants and also of the 
Wine Tower, together with the following 
particulars and opinion: — 

This [the Wine Tower] building of rough 
masonry is oblong in plan, and measures on 
the outside 26 feet 7 inches by 21 feet, and is 27 
feet high. It contains three stories, all vaulted. 
The upper floor, which measures 18 feet by 10£ 
feet, is remarkable and interesting. From the 
vaulted roof hang three finely-carved pendants, 
while there are others of smaller size in tho 
soffits of the windows. The former have the 
Royal Arms, and supporters, with the crest 
and motto in defens on a scroll round the 
top. This crest and motto was first assumed 
by James V., so that this fixes the erection of 
tho tower as subsequent to the first quarter of 
the 16th century. The next contains a shield 
with the arms of the Frasers of Saltoun 
timbered with the motto in god is all. The 
shield is held in the claws of an eagle having 
a key in its beak, and on an entwined ribbon 
is the inscription 


The third pendant is an angel supporting 
a shield, and pointing with on© finger to tho 
emblem of the Crucifixion which it contains, 
viz., the pierced hands and feet, the heart, the 
nail, hammer, and the scourge. On the window 
pendants are the Fraser, Erskine, Douglas, and 
other arms. This apartment had doubtless been 
used as a chapel. 


The educational facilities of Fraser- 
burgh are of an advanced character, and 
further schemes are under the considera- 
tion of the School Board. A marble slab 
in the front wall of Strachan's School in 
High Street is inscribed — 


Besides the Parish Church, Fraserburgh 
contains the West Parish Church, Quoad 
Sacra; three United Free Churches ; Con- 
gregational Church ; Evangelical Union 



Church ; new Episcopal Church in Char- 
lotte Street (erected as a memorial of the 
saintly Bishop Jolly, who for half a cen- 
tury — 1788-1838 — was incumbent of the 
congregation) superseding St Peter's in 
Mid Street; Baptist Chapel; and Roman 
Catholic Church — the last named being de- 
dicated to " Our Lady, the Star of the 

The opening of the railway from Aber- 
deen and the south in 1865, the substan- 
tial enlargements and deepening of the 
harbour, the development of the herring 
fishing industry, and the general enter- 
prise of the inhabitants have raised the 
town to a high standard of commercial im- 
portance. In 1903 a light railway was 
opened to Cairnbulg and St Combs, and 
extensive new steel works have recently 
been erected. 


The Parish Church formerly stood in the 
graveyard by the bide of the links. It was 
probably dedicated to St Modan, a Bishop 
and Confessor, whose feast day was observed 
on the 14th November. (Spalding Club, 
Miscell., IV., p. xxii.) The Saint's name 
is still preserved iu the parish by St 
Mod an's gate. 

At Berwick, on 28th August, 1296, 
Aiidreu, the parson, with others, swore 
fealty and homage to Edward I. of England 
on his temporary subjugation of Scotland. 
(Rag. Rolls.) 

In 1330, the patronage of the church, 
which then pertained to Hugh, Earl of 
Ross, was resigned by him in favour of 
David II. (Acts Parliament). That monarch 
subsequently bestowed the patronage on 
the Cathedral of Old Machar (Robertson's 
Index), and thereafter Bishop Alexander 
Kinninmond II. added the parson to the 
Cathedral Chapter. (Antiq. Aberdeen and 
Banff.) The church thus became a prebend 
of Old Machar, and in 1437 the prebendary 

was required to find a sub-deacon, as his 
vicar, to serve in the Cathedral. The salary 
of the vicar, from Philorth, was 40s yearly, 
but a manse on the east side of Chanonry. 
Old Aberdeen, was subsequently provided. 

According to Crafurd, a new parish 
church was erected by Alexander Fraser of 
Philorth in 1571, when the site was changed 
from the graveyard to the town. Records 
show that this edifice gave place to at least 
one new church before the erection in 1802 
of the present large church, which is seated 
for upwards of 1000. It was recently sub- 
stantially repaired and modernised. It 
stands in the town's square near to the 
Townhall, and has a high tower and clock. 
The bell bears the inscription — 

Thomas Mears and Son, of London. Fecit 

A tablet in the vestibule is inscribed — 

Sacred to the memory of Reverend Peter 
M'Laren, minister of Fraserburgh from 1861 
till 1887. 

" Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the 
least of these my brethren, ye have done it 
unto Me."— Matthew xxv., 40. 

Within the church is a tablet which bears 
the inscription — 

In memory of Alexander M'Donald, ship- 
master in Fraserburgh, born at Burghead, 1793 ; 
perished at Hamburg, 1830. Margaret Milne, 
his wife ; born at Macduff, 1795 ; died of 
grief, 1830. Alexander, their eldest son ; born 
1817; died 1828. Lewis, their third and 
youngest son; born 1824; lost in Canada, 1849. 

Erected by James M'Donald, their second 
son, merchant at Shanghai, China; and 
London. Anno, 1873. 

Honour thy father and mother. 


Probably the first minister who held 
office after the Reformation was Rev 
David Howesoun, who had also in charge 
the parishes of Aberdour, Gamrie, and 
Tyrie. The contemporary reader at 



Fraserburgh was David Brodie, who had a 
salary of sixteen pounds Scots and the kirk 

lands. In 1583, Keythe would appear 

to have held the pastorate, but he is not 
noticed by Scott. (" Notes and Queries,'' 
May, 1903, p. 170.) His successor was 
Rev. David Rattray, who, before 1598, re- 
moved to Cruden. 

Of the many interesting tombstones 
probably the one which attracts most at- 
tention is a horizontal slab to the left of 
the entrance gate, inscribed thus: — 

Here lyes ane faithful preacher of God's 
Word, at Fraserburgh, called Mr Charles 
Farnie. who departed the 24 day of Septuer, 
1617. [Arms and emblems are here shewn — 
a shield in the centre being surrounded by the 
letters M C. F.] 

Also here lyes, under the stone of the said 
worthie man, the body of Geo. Auchinleck, son 
to Mr Alex. Auchinleck, minister of Fraser- 
burgh, by Eliz. Fraser, his spouse. He was of 
uncommon qualifications from his infancy, and 
had solid evidences of airly saving acquaintance 
with, and love to, the Lord Jesus Christ, in 
whome he sweetly fell asleep, on July 2, 1733, 
in the 14 year of his age. 

Rev. Charles Farme, or Ferme (a con- 
traction for Fairholm), M.A., was trans- 
lated in 1598 from the professorship of 
philosophy in Edinburgh University to the 
ministry of Fraserburgh, with a view to 
becoming Principal of the College of 
Fraserburgh (already referred to), which 
latter appointment he was directed to 
accept by the General Assembly of 1600. 
For taking part in the forbidden Assem- 
bly of 1605, at Aberdeen, and subse- 
quently declaring that it was " a very law- 
ful Assembly," he was imprisoned in 
various parts of Scotland. After under- 
going much suffering and privation he 
was, about 1609, permitted to return to 
Fraserburgh, " where he zealously dis- 
charged his duties, teaching both in public 
and private, till, worn out by study and 
shattered by incessant toil," he died, as 

above, aged about 51. An interesting 
sketch of his career is given in Wodrow's 
Biographical Collections, recently edited 
by Rev. Dr Lippe for the New Spalding 

The next incumbent, admitted in 1618, 
was Rev. William Forbes, formerly minis- 
ter of Towie. He married a daughter 
of Arthur Forbes, son of Patrick Forbes 
of Corse, and they had a son — Arthur 
—who became minister of the parish of 
Pitsligo. In 1643, Rev. John Hay, M.A., 
was translated from R-afford, but he 
resigned seven years later. In 1652, Rev. 
Arthur Forbes, M.A., was admitted from 
Innerwick, his appointment being made 
by the Synod, as the local Presbytery con- 
sidered him "to be of too sweet a nature 
for so perverse a people." The proof of 
this perversity was doubtless the strong 
adherence of the people to the tenets of 
Episcopacy. Rev. Arthur Forbes died in 
August, 1663. 

The succeeding two ministers are com- 
memorated by mural tablets, inscribed 
respectively — 


Here lyeth the Body of the Reverend Mr 
James Moore. Parson of Philorth and Minister 
of Fraserburgh, the space of 44 years, who 
died 23 March, a.d. 1703, and of his age 73. 
[A shield is here shown charged with an open 
book and surrounded by a scroll. The inscrip- 
tion proceeds in Latin, which may be trans- 
lated] — This open book denotes a diligent 
pastor, such as the testimony of his flock proves 
Moore to have been. He faithfully discharged 
his apostolic office, praying and working, and 
his deeds at length follow him. He shines 
with greater brilliance than the stars, he lives 
secure from eclipse, and surpasses the sunbeams 
in splendour. 

At the foot of this tomb lyes the body of the 
Reverend Mr Alexander Moore, of Rathen, and 
Minister of the Gospel at Fraserburgh, who 
departed this life upon the 20 of April, 1717, in 
the [figures uncut] year of his age. 




Here lie beside their father's grave, Isabel, 
Elizabeth, Margaret, and Helen Moores. Mar- 
garet, who died March 4, 1686, and Helen, 
who died Septr. 9, 1688. At the east end of it, 
and at the south side of it, first Isabel, who 
died Janr. 4, 1710, and next, Elizabeth, who died 
June 28, 1710, and is buried under the tomb 
stone of Mr Charles Fairme. Here also lies in 
the same grave of Mr James and Mr Alex- 
ander Moor's, the body of Margaiet Crafuird, 
spouse to Mr James Moore, above designed, 
and mother of the said Mr x\lexander Moore, 
and all the forementioned children. She died 
on the 31st of May, 1717, in the ** year of her 

Dr Pratt and other writers experienced 
difficulty in defining the relationship 
between Rev. James Moore and Rev. 
Alexander Moore, but the foregoing in- 
scription (No. 3) proves that the latter was 
son of the former. The complimentary 
epitaph to Rev. James Moore is based on 
an erroneous significance of personal merit 
attached to the open book cut out upon 
his tombstone, which merely formed part 
of his arms thus registered by himself— 
Arg., on a fess az. three mullets or, in base 
a book expanded ppr. (Sir J. Balfour 
Paul's Ordinary of Scottish Arms, p. 162.) 
Bishop Keith, in referring to Rev. Alex- 
ander Moore, says he was "the best of 
men he ever saw." A poem to his memory 
was written by George Halket, and pub- 
lished along with other pieces by Peter 
Buchan, Peterhead. 

Rev. Alexander Auchinleck was ordained 
in 1707, and died 11th September, 1753. 
He married Elizabeth Fraser, and they had 
a son, George, who died 2nd July, 1733, as 
shown by the foregoing inscription on Rev. 
Charles Farme's tombstone. 

The next incumbent was Rev. Alexander 
Fraser, M.A., who was ordained 19th June, 
1764, and died 17th August, 1779. In 
1755 he married Jean, third daughter of 
Andrew Arbuthnot of Broadland, who 

survived till November, 1810. (Arbuthnot 


A marble tablet to the left of the gate 
bears a Latin inscription, which, translated, 
reads — 

Sacred to the memory of the Rev. Alexander 
Simpson, Minister of this Church for 34 years, 
who died 21st July, 1814, in his 75th year. 
Farewell 1 After death thou enjoyest the re- 
ward of a life of faithfulness. 

Rev. Alexander Simpson, on 1st June, 
1786, married Rachel Scroggs, daughter of 
Alexander Scroggs, merchant, Aberdeen, 
who survived him, and died at Lochhead, 
Aberdeen, on 18th August, 1819. Of then- 
sons, George Alexander became minister 
of the parish of Tyrie, and William, who 
was admitted advocate in Aberdeen, 
became procurator-fiscal for the county, 
was subsequently proprietor of Glenythan, 
and died 20th November, 1858, aged 67. 

An obelisk alongside is inscribed — 

In memory of The Reverend John Cumming, 
for 42 years Minister of the Parish of Fraser- 
burgh, who died on 26 January, 1857. For I 
am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for 
it is the power of God unto salvation to every 
one that believeth. 

Rev. John Cumming, who was ordained 
at Fraserburgh on 6th April, 1815, was a 
native of Kilmarnock, and for some time 
had acted as librarian at Glasgow. He 
died unmarried at Cove, Roseneath, in his 
85th year. (Scott's Fasti.) 

Rev. John Lockhart, LL.D., was elected 
assistant and successor in 1846. 

He was followed by Rev. John Storie, 
who is commemorated in an upright 
stone — 

Erected to the memory of The Rev. John 
Storie, Minister of Fraserburgh, who died 14th 
Oct., 1860, aged 34 years. And his son James 
Gillies, who died at Fochabers 17th Deer., 1872, 
aged 16 years. And of his son Day Macdowall, 
died January 3rd, 1882 (on board s.s. Orient, ou 
his way home from Sydney), aged 21 years. 



A massive granite cross close to the 
entrance gate but outside the main wall 
has been erected to the memory of the 
succeeding minister. It bears the inscrip- 
tion — 

In affectionate remembrance of The Reverend 
Peter M'Laren, for 26 years Minister of 
Fraserburgh. Born at Ardoch, Perthshire, iind 
August, 1824. Died at Lochs, in the Island of 
Lewis, on 1st August. 1887, while serving on a 
commission appointed by the General Assembly 
of the Church of Scotland. Also of Jane 
Glasgow or M'Laren, his wife. Born at Port- 
Glasgow 7th March, 1834. Died at Fraserburgh 
30th April. 1885. Erected by their family and 
inhabitants of Fraserburgh, and surrounding 
district. 1889. " They that be wise shall shine 
as the brightness of the firmament ; and they 
that turn many to righteousness as the stars for 
pver and ever.' - — Dan. xii. 3. 

During the incumbency of Rev. Peter 
M'Laren a new manse and church vestry 
were built. 

The present incumbent, Rev. Michael P. 
Johnstone, B.D., was inducted 5th July, 


A tablestone displaying shield, mantlings, 
arms, sand-glass, coffin, bell, skull, cross- 
bones, etc., bears the following inscrip- 
tion — 

Here lyes the bodie of ane pious and virtuous 
man William Ogstone, late bailie of Fraser- 
burgh, who departed this life the 23 of Ian. 
1707. aetatis suae 66. Here lyes under this 
stone the bodie of ane pious and virtuous 
woman Isobel Laurence, spous to William 
Ogstone, late bailie in Fraserburgh, who died 
the 29 of June 1696. 

In 1696, Baillie Ogstone gave up his stock 
at 5000 merks, for which, and himself, his 
wife, and three children he paid £5 10s of 
poll. His sons were named respectively 
William, Alexander, and John. The first 
named became a merchant in Aberdeen, 
and the two last were merchants in 

The Ogston family held extensive pro- 
perty in Buchan from an early period. In 
1464, John Ogston is designed as of " The 
Crag," and it is known that he also bought 
the lands of Raxton, or Rawyston, in 
Tarves. In 1660, William Ogston of Auch- 
macludy purchased the lands of Ardlaw, 
but when he died in the following year 
liis properties were divided between his 
sons George and W T illiam. At other times 
the Ogstons possessed Tilliegreig, Little 
Meldrum, Pittendrum, and Ludquharn. 
They belonged to the ancient stock of 
Ogston of that Ilk in Morayshire, the 
arms of which family were allowed, in 
1876, by the Lyon King to Alexander 
Milne Ogston of Ardoe, who claimed and 
established to the satisfaction of that 
official a descent from the above-mentioned 
William Ogston of Auchmacludy. (See 
Stodart's " Scottish Arms.") 

A mural tablet is inscribed — 

Here the under named Iohn Vrquhart lyes 
who lived well and well he dyes. 

May 8, 1624. 
Here lyes the bodies of Iohn, Alex, and Helen 
Vrquharts, children lawfully procreat between 
Iohn Vrquhart, Merc, in Fraserburgh, and 
Helen . . edie his spouse. 

Helen Kennedie was wife of the above 
John Urquhart. She probably belonged 
to the family of Kennedy of Carmuck, 
who had to " fly the country." 

Alongside is a double mural monument 
surounded by a raised coping displaying a 
skull, ball, and sand-glass, and bearing 
a Latin inscription, which, translated, 
reads — 

The extended burial ground of James 
Urquhart, merchant, Fraserburgh. 

Underneath are the inscriptions in 

Here lyes a virtuous woman Christian Adam- 
son, spouse to James Vrquhat. who departed 



this lif.' the 20 of Agusi 1683. Also here lies 
their son Iohn Vrquhart, who departed thin 
life the 15 of A gust 1683. 

Here also lies the body of the fore named 
lames Vrquhat, Baillie in Fraserburgh, who 
departed this life Nov. 10. 1727, of age 75. Also 
of Iohn Vrquhart, shipmaster in Fraserburgh, 
his eldest son by Margaret Whyt, his second 
spouse. He departed this life Aprile 5, 1730. in 
the 40 year of his age. Here lies the bode of 
Margar Whyt. spouse to the above designed 
Raillie James Urquhart, vho departed this life 
Dee. 27, 1741. aged 74. 

Mr A. J. Mitchell-Gill, in his brochure 
"Gill of Blairythan and Savoch," p. 18, 
expresses the opinion that the above 
Baillie James Urquhart was a son of James 
Urquhart of Oldcraig, in Banffshire, fourth 
son of John Urquhart, Tutor of Cromarty, 
and brother of Patrick Urquhart of 
Lethenty. He further adds that it was 
under the auspices of the Philorth family 
— to whom the Urquharts were nearly re- 
lated — tliat this James Urquhart settled 
in Fraserburgh as a merchant. Whatever 
doubt there may be upon that point, there 
can be none that Urquhart was a man of 
position and influence. It is believed that 
his first wife, Christian Adamsou, was a 
daughter of George Adamson, in Glaslay, 
who, according to the Ogston genealogical 
table, bad married Christian Ogston, 
daughter of William Ogston, notary, 
of Auchmacludy. Their son, William 
Urquhart, was also a baillie in Fraser- 
burgh, and at the baptism of his son John, 
on 22nd August, 1743, the witnesses were 
the Right Hon. Alexander, Lord Saltoun, 
and William Fraser of Memsie. (" Gill 
of Blairythan and Savocb," p. 18.) 


Two tablestones bear the respective in- 
scriptions — 


Here lyes the body of George Gill ship- 
master, in Fraserburgh, who dyed Sep. 17, 

1741, aged 37. Also Isobell, his daughter, dyed 
Feb. 10, 1733, age 12 days. Also Barbara Gill, 
daughter to the forenamed George Gill and 
Christin Cato who died Nov. 18, 1744, aged 14 

Here lyes the body of Isobel Catto, spouse 
to Alexander Gill, shipmaster in Fraserburgh, 
who departed this life May 1, 1743, aged 55. 
Also Barbara Isobel and Christin Gills, their 

George Gill, shipmaster, referred to in 
the first inscription, was the second son of 
Alexander Gill, one of the foremost Aber- 
deenshire agriculturists of the period, and 
for some time in Mains of Pitfour, who 
had married Barbara, daughter of James 
Urquhart, merchant and baillie in Fraser- 
burgh. The shipmaster, who was a strong 
Jacobite, died on 17th September, 1741, 
leaving at least three sons and one 
daughter, viz. : — Patrick, Alexander, 
George, and Christian. Alexander Gill 
referred to on the second tombstone was 
elder brother to the above George Gill. 

Of the same family was Patrick Gill, 
born about 1680, long taxman of Mill of 
Phingask, who married Barbara Spence. 
They acquired property in what is now 
known as the Back Street, Fraserburgh, 
on which they erected two houses. Messrs 
Macgibbon and Ross in fig. 1199, p. 83, 
Vol. V., of their " Castellated and 
Domestic Architecture of Scotland," give 
an illustration of these houses, and 6ay that 
it " is interesting as showing a survival till 
the eighteenth century of the style of early 
Scottish houses with enclosed courtyards." 
The panel over the arched gateway con- 
tains the initials " P.G. and B.S.," with 
the date " 1746." The panel is now built 
into the wall of the mansion house of 
Auchinroath, Rothes (this property belongs 
to Mr A. J. Mitchell-Gill, who furnished 
extracts and much information regarding 
the Gills and other families), where also is 
preserved a fine old oak chair bearing the 



initials and date P.G. 1739. B.S., and in 
which the said Patrick Gill is alleged to 
have died at the age of 101 years. 

The family is now represented by Sir 
David Gill, K.C.B., of Blair-Ythan, late 
Ft ,M. Astronomer Royal, Cape of Good 


Near the middle of the old portion is a 
large brick-built vault with arched roof 
above ground, over the entrance door of 
which is — 

The family burial place of John Gordon, 
Esq., of Kinellar, and of his son-in-law, 
William Fraser, Esq., Park. 

Inside there are three tablets inscribed 
respectively — 

Hero are interred the remains of Jobn 
Gordon, of Kinellar, Esq., ob. 1764, aet. suae 
80. and of The Honourable Henrietta Fraser, 
daughter of The Right Honourable William, 
Lord Saltoun, his wife, ob. 1751. aet. sui 53. 
And of their children, 

Jean, ob. 1776, aet. suae 58. 
Joan, ob. 1780, aet. suae 58. 
Mary. ob. 1786, aet. suae 59. 
Henrietta, ob. 1739, aet. suae 59. 


Sacred to the memory of William Fraser, 
of Park. Esquire, who resided 50 years in the 
adjoining mansion, highly respected, and 
died, most sincerely regretted, on the 2nd day 
of December, 1800, in the 79th year of his age. 

C'atherine Ann Gordon, his beloved wife, de- 
parted this life on the 20th day of September, 
1795, aged 73. Her amiable, mild, and gentle 
manner, her good sense, and sweetness of dis- 
position, endeared her no less, to her friends 
and acquaintances, than the spotless purity of 
her mind; and the uniform practice of all her 
virtues which adorned private life attracted 
their admiration and esteem, and occasioned 
her loss to be greatly lamented. 

In grateful testimony of their united worth, 
and as a small tribute of pious respect for 

their beloved memory, this monument is 
erected by their surviving family, the 22nd 
day of December, 1801. 

Here are interred the remains of Mrs 
Margaret Gordon, spouse to the late George 
Shand, Esquire, Provost of Aberdeen, obit. 
30th April, 1799, in the 79th (or 70th) year of 
her age. 

John Gordon of Kinellar, referred to in 
the first inscription, was the fourth son of 
Sir James Gordon, fifth baronet of Lesmoir. 
(See Kinellar.) His son-in-law, William 
Fraser, is believed to have been a cadet of 
the Lovat Frasers. Certain it is that he 
was for long factor to the Saltoun family, 
and that he acquired by purchase the small 
estate of Park, situated about six miles 
south of Fraserburgh. He left that pro- 
perty equally between his two daughters, 
Henrietta, who married John M'Bean, of 
Jamaica, and died without issue, and the 
younger daughter Eleanor, who died un- 
married. Besides these daughters there 
were two sons — George, who became a 
prosperous merchant in London, and 
John, who entered the army, saw much 
active service, was knighted, and died 
Governor of Chester Castle on 14th 
November, 1843, aged 83. He married 
Evorilda, daughter of James Hamer, a 
Lancashire landed proprietor, and besides 
three daughters— Catherine, Evorilda, and 
Eleonora — had one son, William James, 
who ultimately succeeded to Park, which 
had been bought from his sisters at a price 
far exceeding its actual value, and had 
been willed to him by his uncle, George 
Fraser, who died 8th August, 1838. This 
latter married Mary Ann, daughter of 
Robert Cumming of Logie, Morayshire, 
and by her had a son, George, and four 
daughters— Leslie Anne, who married Rev. 
Edward Whately, son of the Archbishop of 
Dublin ; Grace Louisa, who married T. G. 
Rose Innes of Netherdale ; Eliza, who died 




unmarried 30th June, 1842 ; and Evorilda 
Eliza Maria, who married Lieutenant J. G. 
Gordon Stuart, 42nd Highlanders. George 
Eraser, who succeeded his father in Park, 
entered the army, and attained the rank 
of Captain in the 42nd Highlanders. He 
married Angusina, daughter of Thomas 
Macdonald, Fort-William, and had an only 
son, William James Fraser, the present 
proprietor. (Frasers of Philorth, II., 
pp. 155-56, etc.) 

George Shand, who was Provost of Aber- 
deen in 1764-65, and again in 1770-71, was 
one of the three children of Rev. James 
Shand, minister of Kintore. (See Kintore.) 
The Provost was twice married, first to 
Jean Marr, daughter of David Marr, 
merchant in Aberdeen, and, secondly, to 
Margaret Gordon as previously mentioned. 
He died at Aberdeen on 14th October, 
1792. (Munro's Provosts, pp. 241-42, etc.) 


A tablestone on the south walk bears the 
following inscription — 

Here lyes the body of James Brockie, late 
Tennant in Fingask who died Novr. 29th 1774 
aged 70. Also Margaret T ... his wife 
who died May . . . aged 86, and . . . 

their daughter who died August 

James Anderson, Wright in Fraserburgh died 
11th March 1817 aged 61. Helen Webster 
spouse of John Anderson, Wright in Fraser- 
burgh who died . . . April 1824 aged 32. 
Their daughter Jean died 19th October 1830 
aged 15 

James Anderson, above mentioned, was 
a son of Alexander Anderson, farmer, 
Mains of Phingask, and was the father of 
John Anderson, also referred to in the 
inscription. Alexander Anderson settled 
in Phingask about 1750. 

Upon a headstone near the south wall — 

Sacred to the memory of the late John 

Anderson, Housebuilder, Fraserburgh, who 

died on the 8th December 1868 aged 79 years. 

Deceased officiated as Precentor in Fraser- 
burgh for a period of nearly sixty years. 

Also his wife Jane Lunan who died 13th 
March 1882 aged 82 years. 

These were the parents of Sir George 
Anderson, Knight, Treasurer of the Bank 
of Scotland Born in 1845, Sir George 
entered the service of the North of Scot- 
land Bank in 1857, and after filling various 
positions in the Bank became General 
Manager in 1889. In November, 1898, 
he was appointed Treasurer of the Bank of 
Scotland. In June, 1905, the honour of 
knighthood was conferred upon him by 
King Edward. In 1906 a very beautiful 
memorial window, designed by Mr Douglas 
Strachan, artist, Aberdeen, was presented 
by Sir George to the Parish Church of 
Fraserburgh in memory of his parents. 
His father having been for 35 years leader 
of the praise in that church, the subject 
dealt with in the memorial window was 
the appropriate one of " Praise," and it 
bears the following inscription — 

To the Gloet of God, and in loving memory 
of John Anderson bokn in Feabebbuegh 1789 ; 
died there 1868, for thirty-five tears pfie- 
centoe in this church ; and of jean lunan, 
his wife, born in fraserburgh 1800, died 
there 1882. Erected by their grateful so:\, 
Sir George Anderson, Knight, Teeasubeb of 
the Bank of Scotland, 1906 

The dedication service took place in the 
church on Sunday, 13th May, 1906, when 
Sir George unveiled the window. He also 
at the same time presented to the town 
of Fraserburgh a handsome clock, which 
graces the tower of the South United Free 
Church, having four dials of tasteful 
design. His wife, Lady Anderson, is a 
daughter of the late Mr Alexander Ander- 
son, merchant, London, who was also 
descended of the Andersons of Phingask. 
In October, 1906, she presented to St 
Peter's Episcopal Church, Fraserburgh, 
in memory of her father, who had origin- 
ally been a member of that congregation 



under Bishop Jolly, a bishop's chair or 
throne, and a credeuce table, both of 
fumed oak, magnificently carved, from the 
designs of Mr John Kinross, R.S.A., and 
executed by Scott, Morton, and Co., 
Edinburgh, bearing the inscription — 

L\~ LONDON 1878. 

Another son of the above-mentioned 
John Anderson and his wife, Jane Lunan, 
was James Mackenzie Anderson, born in 
1829. For upwards of forty years he took 
a prominent part in the parochial, muni- 
cipal, and ecclesiastical affairs of Fraser- 
burgh, serving in almost every capa- 
city, including commissioner, magistrate, 
treasurer, session clerk, and elder. At 
his death, which took place on 28th 
December, 1906, he was one of the oldest 
enrolled magistrates of the county. 

His younger brother, Robert Anderson, 
who was born in 1835, was a solicitor of 
ability and standing, who built up a large 
business connection in Fraserburgh. He 
died 21st November, 1882. He inherited 
in a remarkable degree the musical gift3 
of his father, nearly all his spare time 
being devoted to musical composition, in 
which he attained considerable proficiency. 
Among his works are " Songs of Zion," 
published by Messrs Novello, Ewer, and 
Company, London. They evince much 
care and thoughtfulness. The charm of 
his compositions lies in their simplicity and 
the sweet and melodious character of the 
harmonies. Two gems of hymn tunes, 
"Opus" and "Nidus," which he composed 
in 1877, appear in Mr Carnie'e " Northern 
Psalter." Mr Anderson also excelled as a 

Upon a small headstone — 
Hear !vs the body of George Marten. Lawfull 

son to James Marten, Presently residing at the 
House of Cairnbulge, who died January the 8, 
1781, aged 18 years. 

Sir Theodore Martin, the biographer of 
the late Prince Consort, and collaborator 
with W. Edmonstone Aytoun, in the " Bon 
Gaultier Ballads," is said to be a great- 
grandson of the above James Martin, who 
was ground officer on the estate of Cairn- 
bulg, in which office he was succeeded by 
his son Theodore. 

Many attach importance to the fore- 
going inscription, holding it as proof that 
the old house or castle of Cairnbulg had 
been occupied as recently as 1781. Ex- 
cellent drawings of Cairnbulg, together 
with a descriptive account, are given in 
Macgibbon and Ross's Castellated and 
Domestic Architecture of Scotland. (Vol. 
I., pp. 309-13.) The castle was long the 
family residence of the ancestors of the 
Lords Saltoun, when it was designated the 
Manor Place of Philorth. The date of its 
erection is uncertain, but it had evidently 
been of considerable size and strength, the 
latter feature being enhanced through its 
having been moated. In 1615-16, Sir 
Alexander Fraser sold it with the adjoin- 
ing lands to Robert Fraser of Durris for 
£3166 13s 4d sterling. The name Cairn- 
bulg was then adopted, Philorth being 
afterwards applied to the mansion still 
known by that title. In 1619, Cairnbulg 
was disponed to Andrew Fraser of Stoney- 
wood, father of the first Lord Fraser of 
Muchalls, who was an indefatigable sup- 
porter of the Solemn League and 
Covenant. Charles, the last Lord Fraser, 
in 1703, sold it to Colonel John Buchan of 
Auchmacoy ; the next proprietor being, in 
1739, Alexander Aberdein, merchant in 
Aberdeen, whose son, Alexander Aberdein, 
junior (he was Lord Provost of Aberdeen 
in 1742-3), disponed it, in 1775, to George 
third Earl of Aberdeen, who was familiarly 
known by the sobriquet of " Us " from his 

it 2 



superfluous use of that pronoun. The Earl 
bequeathed the property to his son, John 
Gordon, after whose death, on 18th Sep- 
tember, 1861, at the age of 75, the 
Trustees of William Duthie, shipowner, 
Aberdeen, became the purchasers. The 
present proprietor is John Duthie, 
barrister-at-law, London ; and nine years 
ago he successfully restored the ancient 
castle, which presents an imposing appear- 
ance in its isolated situation near Fraser- 
burgh Bay. 


A flat stone bearing the initials G. W. 
and B. H., with arms, etc., is inscribed- 
Here lyes Barbara Hay, spovse to George 
Wilson, baylif of Fraserburgh, who departed 
this life Ian 24. an 1658. Here also are bvriet 
vnder hope of a blest resvrrection the bodies 
of their children lavfully begotten viz Ianet, 
Christian, William, Anna, Helen Wilsons. 

Wilson, who had been a prominent and 
active magistrate, registered arms— " Arg, 
a chevron between two mullets in chief 
and a crescent in base gu." (Sir J. 
Balfour Paul's Ordinary of Scottish Arms, 
p. 46.) 

On a flat stone ornamented with armorial 
bearings, etc. — 

Here lyes Iohn Cheyne of Kethin, merchant 
in Fraserburgh, who dyed the first of Aprile 
1716. Here also lyes Mary Seton, his spouse, 
who dyed the 8 of Sept 1710. 

Kethin is a small property in the parish 
of Monquhitter, and was for a considerable 
period in the hands of the Cheyne family. 
In the middle of the seventeenth century 
the proprietor was William Cheyne, whose 
daughter Isabella became the wife of 
George Leslie of Little Folia. The heritor 
in 1696 is given in the Poll Book as James 
Cheyne, whilst George Cheyne and his 
daughter Barbara are returned as resi- 
denters. John Cheyne named on the 
tombstone was the elder son of the above 

James Cheyne. His stock for the poll was 
returned as under 5000 merks, and for 
this, and himself, and wife, he paid £3 2s 
of tax. 

A horizontal stone near the centre of the 
old portion records the death of a septua- 
genarian who lived a century before his 
time — 

Here lys the body of Andrew Harlaw, who 
departed this life 11 November 1746, in the 
76th year of his age. 

He lived and died a speaking witness against 
the defections of the Church of Scotland. 

A railed-in grave close to south wall has 
a stone bearing the following inscription- 
Erected by John Smith, in affectionate re- 
membrance of his true and faithful lover 
Margaret Kelman, who fell asleep in Jesus, on 
the 6th Jan. 1865, aged 21 years. " Be ye aiso 
ready, for the Son of Man cometh in a day and 
an hour that ye think not." 

Smith, the erector of this tombstone, 
was a coachman at Cortes, and Margaret 
Kelman, whose affection he thus com- 
memorates, was instantaneously killed at 
Gowanhill through the falling upon her of 
a chimney stalk during a gale of wind. 

In a railed-in grave in the south-east 
corner are two wall monuments, inscribed 
respectively — 


Sacred to the memory of the late Alexander 
Begg. A.M., Pastor of the Congregational 
Church in Fraserburgh, who, after a faithful and 
laborious discharge of the duties of his office 
for the period of 22 years, departed this life 
on the 7th November, 1840, aged 53. 

This is erected as a tribute of respect by the 
members of the Church. 

In memory of Mrs Jessie Begg, widow of the 
Rev. Alex. Begg, who died on 10th May, 1877. 
in her 88th year. 

A son, David Gray, became a law 
apprentice in Aberdeen in 1847. 



A large tablestoue displays on the one 
side a crossed sceptre and spade, and on 
the other a skeleton in an upright position. 
It bears a long inscription, part of which 

runs — 

Here lyes Isabel Drummond, lawfull daughter 
to John Drummond, merchant in Fraserburgh. 

A verse, in distinct letters, runs round the 
rim of the stone — 

Grieve not when friends and kinsfolk die, 
They gain by death eternalie. 
In dust no difference is made 
Betwixt the scepte:- and the spade. 

The Poll Book of 1696 shows that John 
Drummond was then a merchant in Fraser- 
burgh, and that for himself, his wife, six 
children, and a stock valued under 5000 
merks he paid £1 18s of poll, 17s 4d being 
also paid for two women servants, whose 
wages were 8 merks each. 

A tablestoue bears — 

In memory of William Ramsay, ship car- 
penter, who died April 14, 1754, aged 71. He 
was descended from a branch of the family of 
Melross. which settled in Fraserburgh at the 
first building of the town. Being honest in his 
dealings and innocent in his manners, Provi- 
dence, on which he trusted, conducted him 
throughout a life of trouble, without censure or 
reproach. Also of ^Margaret, his wife, of the 
family of Pourie Ogilvie. She died Aug. 18th, 
1772, aged 76. In her youth she preferred a 
long, painful attendance on her aged, sickly 
parents to a settlement in marriage, and Provi- 
dence, in her latter days, repaid the pious care 
by means of her own offspring. She ha6 often 
shared her last morsel with the poor, and always 
had a morsel to share with them. Reader, is 
innocence of life and goodness of heart 
rewarded in this world, how much more in 
thar which is to come! . . 

Melross, or Melrose, is a property iu the 
parish of Gamrie, which was owned by the 
Barclays of Towie-Barclay at the close of 
the fourteenth century. It subsequently 
came into the possession of the Ramsay 
family, who, in 1692, succeeded to the ex- 

tensive lands in the parishes of Turriff, 
Inverkeithny, etc., which had belonged to 
Rev. George Meldrum, sometime parish 
minister of Glass. Powrie is a property 
near Brechin, which for long was held 
by the Ogilvy family. James Ramsay, the 
eminent philanthropist, and one of the 
first to denounce the slave trade, was of 
this Fraserburgh family, descendants of 
which are still resident in the town. 

A flat stone, displaying arms and 
various emblems, is inscribed — 

Heir lyes ane werteous Christian, Iohn Craik, 
late bailiff of Fraserburgh, who was called from 
Tyme to Eternity, the 25th of April, 1677. 
Lykvayes heir lyes the bodies of Helen, Anna, 
lames, Georg, and Ianet Craiks, la/ufull begotten 
with Isobel Greig, his spovse. 

Mr Craik, in 1672, in his capacity of 
merchant burgess of Fraserburgh, regis- 
tered arms — per fess azure and sable, a 
ship under sail or, masts, sails, and 
tackling proper. (Stodart's Arms, II., p. 
217.) John Craik, son of the above- 
mentioned couple, died at Fraserburgh 
upon 16th February, 1755, at the reputed 
age of 105 years. 

The following inscriptions are from 
tablestones — 


Here lyes the body of William Robertson, 
a virtuous young man, lawfully procreate 
betwixt Alexander Robertson, merchant in 
Fraserburgh, and Christian Forrest, his spouse, 
who departed this lyfe Jany. 20, 1724, being 
the 21 yeer of his ag. 

Here lyes the body of Andrew Noble, late 
White Fisher in Broadsea, who dayed March 8, 
1784, aged 77, with his children. 

Sacred to the memory of John Gordon, late 
manufacturer in Fraserburgh, who died 15th 
April, 1793, aged 56. His inflexible integrity 
and inoffensive manner procured him the con- 
fidence and esteem of all. His constant exercise 



of kindness and humanity gained him the 
affeotioo and gratitude of many, for he was not 
only careful to avoid evil, but active and 
zealous in doing good. "Go thou and do 
likewise." Luke x., 37. His wife, Margaret 
Mitchell, died 23rd March, 1837, aged 88. 

Here lyes the corps of Isabell, John, 
Christian, Margaret, George, Alexander, 
Robert, lames, and Ianet Forrests, lawfully 
procreat betwixt Thomas Forrest, merchant in 
Fraserburgh, and Christian Taylor, his spouse. 
Here also lyes the body of the said Thomas 
Forrest, who departed this life the 30 of 
September, 1702, and his spouse, Christian 

Round the margin is — 
Here lyes the body of William Forrest, late 
Bailiff of Fraserburgh, who died 15 Iune, 1738, 
aged 59. 

Barbra Knight lys under this 6tone, 
Orecome by death that spareth none. 
. . . She died 26 May, 1763, aged 33. 
Iohn Mories, in Mill of Pitendrum, her 
husband, erected this stone to her memory. 

In memory of John Reid, late fanner in 
Hamoss, Inverallochy, who died 11th Deer., 
1807, aged 55 years. 

The body now in dust dooth rest, 
The soul dooth sleep in Jesus brest, 
When dust and soul dooth meet again, 
They shall in God their glory shine. 

There are several imposing tablestones 
to various members of a family named 
Greig. A descendant, Alexander Greig, 
went from Fraserburgh to Bergen in 
the eighteenth century, and was an 
ancestor of Edward Grieg, the eminent 
musical composer. (See Grove's " Dic- 
tionary of Music") 

On a fragment — 

" full children 

Though we be here among this heep 
We hop our Savi . . . for to meet." 
(Jervise's MS.) 

On a small headstone, undated — 

Patrick Anderson, Maragt. Kelman's son, 
lays Hear on Elisabeth Gordon, his grand- 
mother's breast bone. 

On a tablestone with defaced mono- 
gram — 

By the lyns on this ston you'l see, 
Five children's corps under it ther be. 
Of them, actual sins foure had non, 
For mem' their dust lyes under this ston. 
Receivd all Christendoom, as wil appear, 
Our parents nams ye will find here. 
The secod born, and fifth ye'l see 
Our parents prepared this ston for me. 
Tho Donaldson by name, a II. years was I, 
Not thinking so soon wth dust to ly, 
But to the dust all must come, 
Let non for the dead excessively mourne, 
From the King to the begger all must dy, 
& lay down their robes in the dust to ly, 
As for memorie, go and return, 
Repent for sins, & for them doe mourn. 
Read the x of the Proverbs, and 7 you'l see, 
The memorie of the lust bles'd shall be, 
For God's word will not faill on lot. 
But the name of the wicked it 6hal rot. 
Thomas Donaldson. Elspet Whyte. 

Here lyes the body of Elspet Whyt, spouse 
to Thomas Donaldson, Merch in Frasersburg, 
and mother of the forsaid children, who de- 
parted this life Ianuary 26, 1732, in the 66 
year of her age. Here lyes the body of Thos. 
Donaldson, Merchant in Fraserburgh, who de- 
parted this life the 19th of January, 1738, aged 

In 1696, Donaldson held stock valued 
under 5000 merks, and, for himself, his 
wife, and two children in family, he paid 
£3 14b of poll— 7s being also paid as poll 
for a servant, whose fee was 4s. (Poll 

On a tablestone — 

Wpon Jean Cock, a child of eight years, who 
dyed Oct. 22, 1717. 

Here lyes beneath this ston 

A pleasant child. 
Was lovely to behold, 
Who dying smil'd 



To hear her Saviour call her unto bliss, 
Come unto me ! 
Of such my kingdom is. 

Also James Downie, sometime merchant in 
Fraserburgh, and factor for Lord Saltoun, who 
died the 13th day of June. 1742, aged 41 years. 
As also Thomas Kilgour, Mt. in Fraserburgh, 
who departed this life the 6th of April, 1783, 
aged 57. 


Erected by Alexander Melville, mariner, 
Fraserburgh, in memory of his daughter Mary 
Mair Melville, who died 9th November, 1855, 
aged 9 years and 4 months. 

Why should we tremble to convey 

The body to the tomb? 
There the exalted Saviour lay, 
And cheered the dreary gloom. 

Erected by Helen Smith in memory of her 
husband. John Barclay, carter, Fraserburgh, 
who, unfortunately and accidentally, lost his 
life by his horse and cart, on the 4th March, 
1850. aged 23 years. 

Remember man when ye pass by. 
As ye are now, so once was I, 
As I am now. so must you be, 
Prepare in time to follow me. 

Hark ! from the tomb, a solemn sound ; 

Prepare, prepare, it cries, 
To drop your body in the dust, 
Your soul to mount the skies. 
Erected by Edward Galloway, fishcurer, 
Fraserburgh, in memory of two of his sons 
who died in infancy. . . 

Erected by Alexander Noble, mariner, 
Fraserburgh, in memory of his beloved wife, 
Margaret Clark, who departed this life on the 
18th of October. 1853, aged 27 years, highly 
esteemed and much regretted. 

Why should we mourn departed friends, 

Or shake at death's alarms; 
Death's but the servant Jesus sends, 

To call them to His arms. 

The said Alexander Noble died 27th April, 
1857, aged 37. 

Erected in memory of Alexander Moodie, 
sometime officer of Inland Revenue, thereafter 
Farmer at Tillykiera, and thereafter residenter 
in Fraserburgh. He was born at Boghall, in 
the parish of St Martin's, Perthshire, on the 
12th, and baptised on the 18th June, 1786. He 
died on the 1st day of March, 1866. 

In his age, twenty three, he got the thing 
which he remembered till he died. 
To be remembered — 
The law demands all ; Jesus paid all, 

And set the sinner free, 
A bargain good, by faith in His blood. 
Which I can certify. 

Two of those distressing calamities 
peculiar to seaside towns are recorded on 
separate headstones — 

Here rests the body of Alexander Taylor, 
who died January 25th, 1822, in the 26th year 
of his age, and of George, who died at the 
same time in the 21 year of his age ; they were 
both Mariners in Fraserburgh. 

Erected by their disconsolate Parents, 
Whose hopes are now cast off on earth, 

Deprived of children six; 
But trusting unto Christ our Lord 

Our hope in Heaven we fix. 

Sacred to the memory of Duncan M'Pherson, 
a native of the parish of Ardersier, Inverness- 
shire, who lost his life at the age of 20, whilst 
on board the brig "Lady Campbell" during 
a tremendous gale on the 26th February, 1854, 
on her outward voyage to Greenland. This 
token of esteem for him, and sympathy with his 
disconsolate parents is placed here, over his 
grave, by the young men of his native place, to 
whom he had greatly endeared himself, and 
who have to lament his untimely fate. 

The two following inscriptions are from 
the more modern portion of the grave- 
yard — 


Erected by Capt. Joseph Duthie, Fraser- 
burgh, in memory of his son Thomas Laing, 



who died 17 Dec. 1868, aged 1 year and 11 

months. . . . 

Safely moored in heaven's wide haven, 
Storms and tempests vex no more, 
Fare thee well dear fond and fair one, 
Dear wee Tommie fare thee well ; 
God who gave thee — He has ta'en th©e 
Home with Him, in heaven to dwell. 


In loving memory of St John William Keith, 
only son of Lt. Col. W. H. Diek-Cunyngham, 
V.C., Gordon Highlanders, aged 10 years and 
10 months, who on the 11th of September, 
1897, was accidentally drowned in Fraserburgh 
Bay while gallantly rescuing a comrade. 

" Greater love hath no man than this that a 
man lay down his life for his friend." 

The circumstances attending the death 
of this bright and promising youth were 
very pathetic. While on a visit at Phil- 
orth, he and the son of Lord Saltoun had 
gone to bathe in the bay. The latter got 
beyond his depth, and was saved solely 
through the efforts of his brave com- 
panion, who, alas! sank through ex- 

Colonel Dick-Cunyngham, it will be 
noted, was the possessor of the coveted 
Victoria Cross. He had a long, dis- 
tinguished record, which terminated by 
his fall at Ladysmith upon 12th January, 

The Fraser family have their burial 
aisle in the heart of the town alongside 
the Parish Church. On the outside of 
this very ancient structure are several 
coats-of-arms, and mottoes, now much 
defaced. It was probably erected in 1623, 
upon the death of Sir Alexander Fraser, 
who had left instructions that he should 
be buried " at the south side of the kirk 
and an ile to be built there and ane little 
woult to be buildt." Till then the family 
burying-ground had no doubt been within 
the Parish Church, the usual place of 
sepulture for the leading families and 


The origin of the name of this parish is 

The church was dedicated to St 
Diaconianus, and, previous to the 
Reformation, belonged to the Priory of 
Monymusk. (See Monymusk.) 

The walls of the old edifice are still 
standing by the side of the ancient grave- 
yard within the policies of Castle Forbes. 
It stood practically east and west, and had 
a gallery in the west end, the entrance to 
which was by an outside 6tone stair. The 
roof was so low that worshippers in the 
gallery and underneath could scarcely 
stand upright. It is believed to have 
been erected before the Reformation. 

The small church bell, which was 
originally suspended from a tree, bore 
no inscription. It is now at Castle Forbes. 

A new church, in the Gothic style of 
architecture, was erected in 1835, on au 
elevated site a short distance from the old 
church. It is seated for about 500, and 
has a gallery at one end. A new grave- 
yard was laid out on the lower side of the 
church, and an extension of it was recently 

Lord Forbes provided a new and larger 
church bell than the old one above referred 


In 1567, Rev. Andrew Ogilvie was 
minister of Keig, with Leslie and Premnay 
also in charge. His stipend was £8 6s 8d. 
He was translated to Airlie after 1568. 
Robert Raitt acted as his reader at 
" Kyg " at the salary of 20 lib. 

In 1574, Patrick Strathauchin succeeded 
as reader, the emoluments being altered 
to £16 Scots and the kirklands. 

In 1576, Rev. John Strathauchin was 



translated from Cushnie, with Awfurde, 
Loquheill, and Kindrocht likewise in 

Before the autumn of 1624, Rev. 
William Forbes was ordained. 

In, or before, 1638, Rev. John Young 
became minister. He was translated to 
Birse after January, 1650, and died in 
1671, his remains being interred at Leochel. 

Rev. Thomas Forbes, M.A., son of the 
sixth laird of Corsindae, and previously 
minister of the parish of Tough, was in- 
ducted in 1651. He married Agnes, 
daughter of Thomas Gordon of Grandholm, 
and their family consisted of a son 
William ; and a daughter Isobel, who was 
married to Robert Lumsden, third son of 
the laird of Cushnie. (Macfarlane's Geneal. 
Coll., II., p. 262.) Mr Forbes died in 1665, 
aged about 53. 

In 1666, Rev. Adam Barclay, M.A., son 
of Rev. Adam Barclay, minister of Alford, 
was inducted from the parish of Kinbat- 
tock, or Towie. He married Marjory, 
daughter of John Forbes of Asloun, and 
his wife, Marjory Ferguson. (Ibid., II., 
pp. 250-51.) He was deprived, about 1681, 
for refusing to take the Test. He after- 
wards held a charge at Perth. 

In 1683, Rev. Andrew Livingstone, who 
had for some time acted as chaplain to 
the Earl of Kintore, was ordained. He 
was deposed on 22nd August, 1716, for 
supporting the cause of the Pretender. 
He married, aud, besides a daughter, 
Margaret, had three sons — William; 
Andrew, merchant in Aberdeen ; and 

In 1717, Rev. George Middleton, M.A., 
was inducted from Leochel. His call was 
made by the Presbytery " jure devoluto," 
and was the reverse of popular. It is 
asserted that at his settlement party feel- 
ing ran so high that 50 soldiers had to 
be sent to preserve the peace. During 
the induction service, they were stationed 

near the present bridge which crosses the 
Don, and between the old ford and the 
church. Mr Middleton married Elizabeth 
Farquhar, and had a family of at least 
three sons — George, Hugh, and Samuel — 
and a daughter, Joan. He died on 15th 
June, 1739, aged 58, and, like several of 
his predecessors, was interred within the 
old Parish Church. A rough tablet stands 
to his memory in the inner wall of that 
ruin, but the letters have been cut so 
faintly that it is now impossible to de- 
cipher them correctly. 

On 30th April, 1740, Rev. Alexander 
Strachan was admitted from Footdee, 
Aberdeen. It is recorded that on the 
night of 16th October, 1746, the manse 
was entered by a band of armed men, who 
demanded the instant delivery of £100 stg. 
Failing to secure this, they robbed the 
minister of his watch, a quantity of wear- 
ing apparel, linen, and other articles. Mr 
Strachan died on 10th October, 1771, in 
his 75th year, and his wife, Elizabeth 
Wilson, who died 27th August, 1789, in her 
82nd year, left a legacy of £50 for behoof 
of the poor of the parish. 

In 1772, Rev. William Duff, M.A., was 
inducted from Glenbuchat. He died, un- 
married, on 28th June, 1773. 

In 1774, Rev. Alexander Smith, pre- 
viously at Forbes and Kearn, was inducted. 
He died at Huntly 12th May, 1833, in his 
83rd year, and 63rd of his ministry. His 
wife, Elizabeth Smith, died 21st October, 
1841, aged 88. They were both buried at 
Cairnie. During the last seventeen years 
of the ministry of Mr Smith, he had an 
ordained assistant in the person of Rev. 
Gordon Raeburn, the parish schoolmaster. 

The next incumbent is commemorated by 
a headstone within an enclosure. It is 
inscribed as follows — 

Sacred to the memory of the Rev. Alex- 
ander Low, M.A., C.R., S.S.A., for 39 years 
minister of Keig; born 5th May, 1800; died 



3rd May, 1873. Within this family burying- 
ground are also interred the remains of 
Magdalene, third daughter ; born 1st July, 
1857; died 23rd August, 1858. John, third 
son; born 28th December, 1851; died 19th 
September, 1882. Rev. Walter Forbes, M.A., 
B.D., fifth son; born 12th March, 1856; died 
1st September, 1893, buried in Cemetery, Kil- 
marnock. George Inglis, eldest, son ; born 
20th September, 1847; died 22nd February, 
1897, buried in this family burying-ground. 
Magdalene, wife of the above-mentioned Rev. 
Alexander Low ; born 5th May, 1823 ; died 
7th November, 1897, buried in Kensal Green 
Cemetery, London. 

There is also in the church a white 
marble tablet to the memory of Mr Low. 
Tt bears to have been " erected as a 
tribute of affection and regard by his 
attached parishioners and friends." 

Rev. Alexander Low was the son of 
James Low, merchant, and thereafter 
farmer at Headhouse, Clatt. He was for 
some time schoolmaster of Clatt, and was 
ordained minister of Keig on 27th June, 
1834. He was the author of a " History 
of Scotland " and of " Scottish Heroes of 
the Days of Wallace and Bruce." At a 
Presbytery dinner, one of the ministers 
who was famed for his rhyming pro- 
clivities, was asked to give, instanter, 
an epitaph which would be suitable 
fur Mr Low's tombstone. He immediately 
recited — 

Beneath this stane, upon this knowe, 
Lies single-handed Sandy Low ; 
He wrote a. book nae man could read, 
Noo book an' author baith are deid ! 

Mr Low's family, who still survive, are 
— Alexander Hay, who is in business in 
London ; Charles, who is in an English 
bank; James Gillan, and Catherine Mary. 
The last-named attained fame as a 
musician. Mrs Low was the daughter of 
Mr Tnglis, who was for some time Dean 
of Guild of Aberdeen. Rev. Walter 
Forbes, the fifth son, was minister of the 

second charge, Kilmarnock, from which he 
accepted a call to St Andrew's Parish, 
Glasgow, but he died before induction. 

Rev. Duncan Campbell, B.D., was 
ordained 28th September, 1873, being 
translated to Grahamston on 3rd 
February, 1876. He subsequently was 
minister of Rosemount, Aberdeen, and 
from 11th June, 1894, till his death on 
20th July, 1903, he held the charge of St 
Matthew's, Morningside Road, Edinburgh. 

The present senior incumbent is Rev. 
Thomas Bell, who, on 14th May, 1868, 
was ordained minister of Fauldhouse, 
being inducted to Keig on 6th July, 1876. 
He acted as clerk to the Presbytery of 
Alford and to the Synod of Aberdeen. He 
edited for the New Spalding Club " Re- 
cords of the Exercise of Alford " — a work 
which gives much reliable information on 
the ecclesiastical affairs of Upper Donside 
for the period 1662 to 1688. He was 
recently honoured with the degree of D.D. 

In November, 1906, Rev. J. R. Stewart, 
assistant, St Michael's, Edinburgh, was 
elected colleague and successor. 

Many amusing anecdotes are still re- 
lated of the parochial experiences of the 
old ministers. One of these gentlemen was 
most methodical in his diets of catechis- 
ing, and he knew the bent of every indi- 
vidual parishioner. An old man who was 
well versed in the Catechism and Bible had 
a habit of auswering one question simul- 
taneously with putting another. A neigh- 
bouring clergyman, being on a visit to 
Keig, was told of the peculiarity, and he 
undertook to conduct the catechising, at 
the same time promising to effectually 
silence the further questioning. Every- 
thing went well till our hero's turn for 
interrogation came. " My friend, can you 
tell me how long Adam was in Paradise?" 
asked the minister. " Till he got a wife, 
sir! Can you tell me how long he was 



there after that?" replied the imperturb- 
able parishioner. 


A church which now belongs to the 
Unit-ed Free body was erected in 1845 on 
a site granted by the late Lord Forbes. 
It was seated for about 260, and was 
intended to accommodate residenters in 
Keig and Tough parishes. Extensive 
internal alterations and improvements 
were made about sixteen years ago. A 
headstone within an enclosure in the new 
parish graveyard of Keig commemorates 
the first minister thus — 

Thou shalt guide me with they counsel and 
afterwards receive me to glory. 

In memory of Mary Jane, daughter of the 
Rev. W. P. Smith ; born 11th July, 1845 ; died 
15th May. 1864. Here also are interred Elizii 
S. Smith; born 9th November, 1852; died 5th 
October, 1857, and an infant who died on the 
day of hi6 birth. 

George M. Smith, A.M. ; born 23rd February, 
1848; died 27th April, 1866. Herbert Smith, 
born 8th February, 1862; died 17th Decem- 
ber, 1887. 

William Pirrie Smith, D.D. ; born 14th April, 
1811 ; ordained minister of the Free Church 
Keig-Tough 5th December, 1845; died 24th 
February. 1890. And hie wife, Jane Robertson ; 
born 22nd January, 1821 ; died 2nd December, 

Rev. Dr Smith in early years learned the 
trade of a wood-turner. Being of an in- 
tellectual disposition, he devoted all his 
spare time to learning. Entering King's 
College, he proved a distinguished 
student, carrying off the Hutton Prize 
and graduating M.A. in March, 1839. 
He was for a short time schoolmaster of 
Kincardine O'Neil, and then rector of the 
West-End Academy in Aberdeen. He dis- 
charged the ministerial duties at Keig- 
Tough with much ability and acceptance 
till 1881, when impaired health compelled 
him to resign. In 1868, he published " The 
Unity of the Christian Church." His wife 

was the daughter of Peter Robertson, who 
for many years was head of the West- 
End Academy, Aberdeen. (See Pratt's 
" Buchan," revised edition, 1901, p. 144.) 

Mr P. J. Anderson kindly states 
that the above-mentioned George Michie 
Smith in 1866 carried off every Uni- 
versity honour open to him, viz. : — The 
Simpson Greek Prize, Simpson Mathe- 
matical Prize, Hutton Philosophy Piize, 
and Town Council Gold Medal. This 
record has never been beaten. 

The present minister, Rev. Hugh Hart 
Currie, B.D., was ordained on 3rd 
February, 1881. 


Alongside the headstone in the Smith 
enclosure above noticed is a neat but 
unpretentious obelisk, which bears the 
simple inscription — 

In memory of William Robertson Smith, Pro- 
fessor of Arabic in the University of Cam- 
bridge ; born 8th November, 1846 ; died 31st 
March. 1894. 

William Robertson Smith, eldest son of 
Rev. Dr Smith, received his early educa- 
tion at home under the care of his father, 
and such progress did he make that it is 
said he could read Hebrew when about six 
years of age. Entering King's College, he 
took a foremost place in every subject, but 
serious illness prevented his sitting the 
Honours Degree examination, in which he 
would almost certainly have established a 
record in scholarship. He studied theology 
at the Free Church College, Edinburgh, 
and subsequently at Berlin, Bonn, and 
Gottingen. Returning to Scotland, he was 
(when only 24 years of age) appointed 
Professor of Oriental Languages and Old 
Testament Exegesis in the Free Church 
College, Aberdeen. He likewise engaged 
as one of the staff of contributors to the 
" Encyclopaedia Britannica." Some of the 
articles thus written by him were in ad- 



vance of the views generally held in the 
Free Church at the time, and he was 
libelled for promulgating doctrine of a 
dangerous and heretical character. Of 
this charge he was acquitted by a small 
majority ; but, in consequence of another 
article on " Hebrew Language and Litera- 
ture " from his pen which appeared in 
June, 1880, he was removed from his 
Chair by the Assembly of 1881. His many 
friends and sympathisers presented him 
with a gift of £1000. He settled in Edin- 
burgh, and was associated with Professor 
Baynes as editor of the " Encyclopaedia 
Britannica." On the death of the latter, 
Mr Smith became editor-in-chief. In 1883, 
he was appointed Lord Almoner's Reader 
in Arabic at Cambridge, which office he 
held till December, 1886, when he was 
elected to the chief librariansbip. The 
latter post he exchanged in 1889 for the 
Adams' Professorship of Arabic. Among 
the degrees conferred upon him were — 
LL.D., Aberdeen ; M.A., Cambridge ; 
Litt.D., Dublin ; and D.D., Strassburg. He 
was a voluminous writer ; and among his 
more outstanding works may be mentioned 
— ' ' The Old Testament in the Jewish 
Church" (1880; revised edition, 1892); 
' ' The Prophets of Israel and their Place 
in History to the close of the Eighth 
Century, B.C." (1882); "Kinship and 
Marriage in Early Arabia" (1885); and 
" Lectures on the Religion of the Semites " 


In May, 1685, it was reported to the 
Presbytery that ' ' there is a school and 
school maister provyded, unto whom the 
minister, heritors, and elders gave a good 

In 1803, the salary was 300 merks Scots, 
which in 1829 was augmented to £29 18s 

In 1710, the schoolmaster was Robert 

Ross, whose successor was Francis Coutts. 
Before 1733 .... Tayler held the 
appointment. On 4th June, 1734, a com- 
plaint of negligence was lodged with the 
Presbytery against him, whereupon that 
body warned him that ' ' they have a 
watchful ewy over him." 

In May, 1753, John Taylor was elected 
schoolmaster, precentor, and session clerk. 

A successor who held the appointment 
for the long period of 58 years has a head- 
stone which is inscribed — 

In memory of the Rev. Gordon Raeburn, 58 
years schoolmaster, 18 of that period assistant 
minister in this parish; died 29th March, 
1861, aged 79 years. 

Erected by his pupils and friends. 

Also his grand-daughter, Barbara B. Rae- 
burn, who died 20th September, 1870, aged 22 
years. Barbara Benton, his spouse; died 8th 
January, 1881 ; also their daughter, Catherine 
Raeburn, who died 22nd June, 1898, aged 84 

These graves are enclosed by the widow of 
James, only son of the Rev. Gordon Raeburn. 

In 1839, Alexander Milne acted as 
assistant schoolmaster to Mi- Raeburn. 
He afterwards became parish minister of 
Tough. (See Tough.) 

In 1842, John Watt was assistant. He 
subsequently was elected minister of the 
parish of Strathdon. 

In 1846, Andrew Christie officiated as 
assistant. He is now minister of the 
parish of Kildrummy. 

In 1848, Peter Keay was assistant. He 
afterwards qualified for the ministry. 

In 1850, William Skinner was assistant. 
He was long minister of the united parishes 
of Tarland and Migvie. 

In 1852, Lewis Beaton acted as assistant. 
He is now senior minister of the parish of 

In 1855, William Milne was assistant. 
He was afterwards schoolmaster of 
Kinnoir, Huntly. 

In 1861, George Chree (brother of the 



late Rev. Charles Chree, D.D., minister of 
Lintrathen) was elected schoolmaster. He 
is now living in retirement in Aberdeen. 
Three members of his family are com- 
memorated by a headstone, within an 
enclosure, thus — 

Erected by George Chree, schoolmaster, 
Keig, in memory of his son James, bank 
accountant, who died at Strichen, 3rd March. 
1894. aged 27 years. Also his daughters- 
Helen: died 1st April, 1884. aged 16 years; 
Elizabeth; died 30th January, 1873, aged 
18 days. His son, Robert Dawson, bank 
accountant ; died 5th February. 1897, aged 25 

A son, Rev. George Johnstone Chree, 
B.D., is senior chaplain (Church of Scot- 
land) on the Indian Ecclesiastical Estab- 
lishment ; while another son — Rev. 
William Chree, B.D. — is Principal of 
the Church of Scotland Missionary Insti- 
tution, Madras. 


A headstone commemorates the first 
person whose interment took place in the 
new graveyard — 

Erected in memory of Jean Milne, wife of 
Peter M'Combie, New Keig, aged 46 years, 
being the first person interred in this church- 
yard. 16th July, 1841. 

An enclosure has two headstones, which 
are inscribed — 


Erected in affectionate remembrance of 
Alexander Bruce, of this parish, who was born 
at Quarry, 18th April, 1800, and died at 
Wealthiton. 26th February, 1877. Also of his 
wife, Agnes Mitchell, who died on the 5th 
December, 1890, aged 87 years. 

This stone was erected by the children of 
Alexander Bruce. 

Alexander Bruce was a successful 
merchant at Keig. Several of his sons 
have attained eminence in various walks 
of life. Of them, William, M.A., M.D., 

LL.D., who resides at The Castle, Ding- 
wall, is, perhaps, the leading medical 
authority north of Aberdeen. He is 
largely interested in educational matters. 
John Mitchell, M.A., M.D., LL.D., is a 
medical specialist in London, and formerly 
held the appointment of Lecturer, Charing 
Cross Hospital. Robert is secretary to 
the Irish Agricultural Society ; while 
George was long secretary and treasurer 
of the Royal Northern Agricultural 


Sacred to the memory of John Mitchell 
Simpson, youngest son of James and Mary 
B. Simpson, Forbes Cottage, who was 
accidentally drowned at Fintray, on 9th 
September, 1900, aged 17 years. 

James Simpson, who was a medical 
practitioner, died — as the result of a 
driving accident — on 1st October, 1903. 

There died in the parish early in the 
last century Peter Anderson, at the 
reputed age of 115 years, having lived in 
three centuries. In an obituary notice 
in the " Aberdeen Journal," it is men- 
tioned that Anderson was first married 
in the 95th year of his age ; that there 
were four of a family — three of whom, 
with their mother, survived him — that he 
retained his mental faculties, and even 
his bodily strength, till within a short 
time of his death ; and that he was a very 
tall, straight, stout, well-made man — his 
acquaintances observing that they knew no 
difference in his appearance for the last 
60 years of his life! He gained his liveli- 
hood chiefly as a travelling chapman — old 
books being his staple commodity. 


The principal estate in the parish is 
that of Castle Forbes, belonging to Lord 
Forbes. Particulars respecting it and the 
family of Forbes are given under Forbes. 




One of the old conditions under which 
the property of Balgowan, or Balgonen, 
was held required the annual delivery of a 
nest of merlin hawks. These birds were 
formerly used in hawking partridges and 
small game. The estate, which is now 
known by the name of Airlie, was be- 
queathed by the late Robert C. Grant to 
trustees for behoof of Blairs Roman 
Catholic College. 


The old estate of Finach, or Finzeauch, 
was long in the possession of the Forbeses, 
the descents of several of whom are given 
in Macfarlane's Genealogical Collections, 
II., p. 228. 

The estate was acquired by David Ander- 
son, merchant and burgess of Aberdeen, 
whose mathematical skill and ingenuity 
won for him the title of " Davie-do-a'- 
thing." His principal achievement was 
the removal, in 1610, of a large rock which 
obstructed the entrance to the harbour of 
Aberdeen. He married Jean, daughter of 
Matthew Guild, armourer, Aberdeen, and 
died 9th October, 1629. (Theater of 
Mortality, pp. 90-91.) Their son, David, 
succeeded to the property, and died 19th 
December, 1643. 

From the Andersons, the property passed 
to George Wilson, burgess of Aberdeen, 
who died on 25th October, 1675. George 
Wilson, the next owner, in 1696, for his 
property, himself, wife, three sons, one 
daughter, one male servant, and two 
female servants, paid £12 12s 8d of poll. 
(Poll Book.) A son — Thomas — became an 
advocate in Aberdeen, and died on 7th 
July, 1747. Probably the last proprietor 
bearing the surname was David Wilson, 
physician in Peterhead, who died in 
August, 1791, in his 59th year. 

The name of the estate was altered to 
Harthill, and it was bought by Rev. 

William Forsyth, minister of Aboyne 
(See Aboyne.) 


The parish was originally formed out of 
the extensive church lands which pertained 
to the Culdees of Monymusk, for whom a 
Priory was erected. By 1245, the Culdees 
were disinherited of their lands, which 
were bestowed on the Canons Regular of 
St Andrews — the Bishop of St Andrews 
having a seat in the Scottish Parliament 
under the title of Lord Keig and Mony- 
musk. The original Baillie of the Regality 
was Lord Forbes. 

Two ancient stone circles, and a ruinous 
circular enclosure composed of loose stones, 
called the Barmkin, are the principal an- 

The parish, which extends to upwards of 
8000 acres, is intersected by the Don, which 
is spanned by a handsome stone bridge of 
one arch. It was erected in 1816-17. 

Many natives of the parish, although 
now resident at a distance, evince the 
keenest possible interest in its welfare. 
Amongst these may be mentioned John 
Benton, Rochester, who generously gives 
an annual sum to provide prizes for the 
school children. 


The situation of this small graveyard 
within the extensive and finely-wooded 
policies of Castle Forbes is unique, and it 
might be greatly improved at little cost. 


A tablestone is inscribed as under — 

Here lies interred Alexander Mitchel, late 
farmer in Anmegathle, who died November 22th, 
1764, a.ged 72 years. And also his spouse, Mar- 
jory Innes, who died May 23rd, 1767, aged 72 

By the care of their son, William Mitchel. 
Likewise is here interred the body of Mary Mit- 
chell, lawful daughter to Wm. Mitchell in Inver 



of Monymusk, who died September 24th, 1795, 
aged 17 years. 

Also William Mitchel, late farmer in Anne- 
gathle. who died 22nd December, 1820. aged 72. 
Also his spouse, Isabell Ga-rr, who died 15th 
November, 1844, aged 91 years. 

The progenitor of the Mitchells of Auch- 
nagathle was Alexander Mitchell, who, in 
1696, was tenant of Burnside, Keig (Poll 
Book) — a farm which has since disappeared. 
He married Helen Low ; and, besides a 
female servant, had two male servants, to 
whom he paid £16 Scots and £8 Scots of 
wages — a considerable sum in those days. 
His son, Alexander Mitchell, who is com- 
memorated by the above inscription, was 
tenant in 1740 of Auchnagathle and 
Brindy, for the former of which he paid 
100 merks (£5 lis l£d stg.), and for the 
latter £50 Scots (£4 3s 4d stg.), plus in- 
considerable kain and carriages. He was 
twice married ; and Alexander Mitchell, a 
son by the first marriage, became tenant 
of the farm of Strathlunach, on the Forbes 
estate. It was his family who afterwards 
became tenants of Burnside, and in 1821 
succeeded to money through the death of 
a relative. This excited the cupidity of 
George Thorn, who had married a 
daughter, Jean. With the diabolical 
design of cutting off the whole family and 
getting possession of the money, he visited 
Burnside and surreptitiously mixed a 
quantity of arsenic amongst the cooking 
salt. As a result, William Mitchell died, 
and several others of the family suffered 
intense pain. For the crime, Thorn was 
tried, found guilty, and executed. This 
branch of the Mitchells is now extinct. 

By the second marriage of the above 
Alexander Mitchell to Marjory Innes, there 
was an only son, William. He succeeded 
to the tenancy of Auchnagathle, which he 
had to relinquish for a time on behalf of a 
favourite servant of Mrs Leith-Hay of 
Leithhall, the proprietrix. He removed to 
Pittendrigh, Keig, and thence to Upper 

Inver, Monymusk. In 1800, he returned to 
Auchnagathle under a 30 years' lease. He 
married Isabell Carr (she and two of her 
sisters, Mrs Adam and Mrs Cobban, died, 
aged upwards of 90 years, and are interred 
in the old churchyard, Keig), one of the 
seven daughters of the tenant of Culhay. 
Forbes. Of their family, Alexander, the 
eldest son, became a chemist, and was for 
many years manager of the Apothecary's 
Hall Company in Glasgow. Two of his 
grandsons occupy prominent positions in 
London — one being the owner of Condy's 
Chemical Works. The next son, William, 
received a classical education, and ulti- 
mately emigrated to Canada. He became 
Provost of Kingston, but succumbed to an 
attack of malarial fever. The youngest 
son, John, went out to realise his brother's 
estate, but also fell a victim to fever. The 
third son, George, continued the tenancy 
of Auchnagathle. He married, and in 
1855, within the short period of six weeks, 
had to mourn the untimely death of two 
sons — the younger being drowned in the 
farm mill dam, while the elder was killed 
by a fall from a tree at Pitfichie, Mony- 
musk, the home of his mother. Mr 
William A. Mitchell, the present tenant of 
Auchnagathle, is a surviving son. He 
studied at the parish school, and thereafter 
at the old Grammar School, where the late 
Sir William D. Geddes was one of his 
teachers. Subsequently he attended 
Marischal College. He is one of the fore- 
most agriculturists in Aberdeenshire, and 
has made his farm famous for its herd of 
shorthorn cattle. 

A tablestone — showing various emblems 
— is inscribed — 

Here lies Jean Clariehue, lawfull daughter to 
Euan Clariehue and Margaret Lawson, in Bal- 
four, who died May 6th, 1775, aged 2 years. Her 
disconsolate parents, remembering that they 
also must soon die, have erected this stone to 
her memory. 



There are several other tombstones to 

members of this family. 

The following tablestone inscription 
commemorates three nonagenarians — 

Sacred to the memory of James Adam, late 
tenant in New Burnside of Keig, who died 8th 
May, 1838, aged 90 years. The undersaid 
William Adam died the 29th of August, 1842, 
aged 97 years. And his wife, Ann Carr, died 
the 16th April, 1847, aged 93. 

Erected by his brother, William Adam. 

Mr Adam bequeathed a sum for behoof 
of the poor of the parish. 

Cbapel of (Bariocb. 


The church of Logie-Durno was dedi- 
cated to the Virgin Mary; and, previous 
to the Reformation, belonged to the 
Abbey of Lindores. As the Church of 
" Durnoch," it is included in the Con- 
firmation Bull by Pope Celestine III., of 

An expert who visited the ruins and 
the old graveyard in the beginning of the 
last century has left in MS. the following 
notes — 

This church was situated near the old 
Huntly road, which, being now stopped, ex- 
cept on occasion of a funeral, gives the burial- 
ground and ruins a very secluded aspect. They 
are surrounded by woods. 

The vestigia of the building are inconsider- 
able, but appear to have been well built and 
cemented with excellent lime. The form has 
been long and narrow 

Logic Durnot, the Durnot in the valley. 

The high ground towards Benachie, now 
forming the parish of Chapel, was formerly 
distinguished as Drum Durnot — the height, of 

There was also in the parish a chapel, 
dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, 
which was built and endowed, before 1357, 

by Christian Bruce, Lady of the Garioch, 
and sister of King Robert I. She had 
married, for her third husband, Sir 
Andrew Moray, Pantelar of Scotland, 
and, after his death, she erected the chapel 
for the weal of his and of her own soul. It 
was subsequently further endowed until, 
before the Reformation, it had as many 
as six chaplainries. 

In 1599, the old church of Logie-Durno 
ceased to be used — a new and more 
centrical parish church having been 
erected on the spot where the Chapel of 
the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Garioch 
had stood. From this circumstance, the 
name Chapel of Garioch was given to the 
parish, although it was not till after 1700 
that the older title of Logie-Durno ceased 
to be used. 

James Logan, author of "The Scottish 
Gael," gives the following MS. particulars 
regarding the old church of Chapel of 
Garioch and that of the present edifice, 
which was erected in 1812, and opened for 
service on 10th January, 1813 — 

The present kirk is a neat, modern building 
in the pointed style, the old one having been 
taken down in ? It had an aile on the 

south side, which belonged to Erskine of 
Pittodrie, and is the burial-place for the 
family. It stands detached from the present 
church — which is built a few feet further 
northwards — and is now unroofed, and a 
window towards the south closed up. For 
several years before the old church was taken 
down, it was found necessary, from the ruinous 
state of the building, to remove the bell to a 
tree in the churchyard, where it was hung. 
The church, like the former, stands east and 
west, and is a well-built, plain structure, with 
circular-headed windows. 

A gateway in the west wall of the church- 
yard is of solid and imposing dimensions con- 
trasted with the simple walls enclosing the 
burying-ground, and bears the date — 1626 — in 

[Logan gives a sketch of the gateway, and 
adds—" It is called ' Pittodrie's Yeat,' being 
that, by which the laird enters the churchyard 



in coming from his castle." He seems to have 
been unaware that the gateway was in reality 
a funeral porch, through which the dead were 
carried into the sacred place, and under the 
roof of which the coffin had, in old times, been 
set down during the burial service.] Near it 
is a fine well, called Mary's Well, from the 
Virgin to which the church was dedicated. 

It appears this became the parish church 
after the reduction of Logie Durno, being 
originally a chapel dedicated to Mary the 
Virgin of Garioch. It. then contained a rich 
chaplainry, as we see by the following entry 
relative to the " Chaplainry of Warthill within 
the Chapel of St Mary the Virgin of Gariocht. 
The Lands of Meikle Warthill with the per- 
tinents pertaineing in patrimony to the 
said chaplanry lying in the Regality of 
Gariocht sett to Leslie of Tullifoir ffor mail], 
grassum. augmentation, and converted cus- 
tomes £20." 

" Ane peice land of the said chaplanry with 
houses, yairds. etc.. within the said territory 
of Drumdurnot, parochen of Logie durnot, and 
shyre of Aberdein. sett to Ereskine for 3s 4d 
(Harl MS. 4613)." 

About 1450, Patrick Ogilvie of Grandon 
mortified lOmk. yearly out of his lands of 
Strathalvain. in Banffshire, for a chaplain in 
Mary Kirk of Garviach (Harl MS. 4620). 

From these extracts it is evident that the 
Chapel of St Mary, in the parish of Logie 
Durno. did not receive its name from having 
been first erected for the purpose of having 
prayers made for the souls of those who fell 
at Harlaw in 1411, according to a tradition re- 
corded by Kennedy. ("Annals of Aberdeen," 
II., p. 324). 

In the walls of the old kirk were to be seen 
the large blocks of stone that had once formed 
a Druidical place of worship in this place. 
(Cordiner's Antiquities.) .... 

The old church was very long, narrow, and 
low, the pulpit, as usual, close to the side wall. 

In one end was the common loft, and in the 
other the singers'. 

The Pews were amply ornamented with carv- 
ings and paintings, and those of the heritors 
and principal parishioners provided with 

The parish was supplied by John Leslie. 

reader, in 1567 ; by Walter Leslie from 
1574 to 1576; and by Andrew Spens from 
1578 to 1586. In 1567, and for a few 
years subsequently, Rev. Stephen Masoun 
was minister, with Insch and Culsalmond 
likewise in charge. 

Rev. Alexander Abercrombie was incum- 
bent in 1574, with Oyne and Premnay 
also under his jurisdiction. 

William Strathauchin was minister of 
this charge alone in 1588. 

Rev. Alexander Patersoun was trans- 
lated from Insch and inducted here in 
1592. He continued in 1628. (Family of 
Leslie, III., p. 88.) His son — John — 
afterwards became Bishop of Ross. 

Rev. Andrew Strachan, who had pre- 
viously officiated as a Regent in King's 
College, was the succeeding incumbent. 
On 30th December, 1634, he became Pro- 
fessor of Divinity, and got the degree of 

Rev. Alexander Strachan — brother of 
the preceding — was admitted in 1635. He 
refused to sign the Covenant in 1640, but 
appears to have done so later. On 7th 
October, 1675, he was ordered by the Synod 
to secure a helper. 

Rev. George Clark was admitted between 
1677 and 1685, but he was deposed on 9th 
April, 1702, for negligence and faults of a 
more grave character. 

Rev. William Leslie, M.A., was admitted 
from Kemnay 26th February, 1707. Dr 
Scott (Fasti) records that ' ' he was bar- 
barously treated, hindered from casting 
his peats, had them destroyed, and was 
obliged to claim his right by a process 
before the Court of Session against George 
Lesly of Balquhyne, brother of Count 
Lesly in Germany." He was translated 
to St Fergus in 1718. 

Rev. Gilbert Gerard was ordained 1st 
July, 1719, and died 3rd February, 1738, 
survived by his wife, Marjory Mitchell, 
who died 24th October, 1785, aged 81. Of 



their sons, Alexander, who was " dis- 
tinguished in literature," became, on 11th 
June, 1760, Professor of Divinity in 
Marischal College ; in 1769, minister of 
Greyfriars, Aberdeen ; and on 19th June, 
1771, Professor of Divinity in King's 
College. Another son — Gilbert — was, in 
1751, admitted a member of the Society 
of Advocates in Aberdeen, and died fifteen 
years later. 

The succeeding incumbent has a table- 
stone in the graveyard, and a tablet within 
the church, to his memory, inscribed 
thus — 


This stone marks the burying-ground of the 
lait Rev. Robert Parquhar and of his family. 

Ann Farquhar, his daughter, and the last 
survivor of his children, died the 12th of 
January, 1825, in the 91st year of her age. 

This is inscribed to the memory of the Rev. 
Robert Farquhar, minister of Chapel of 
Garioch, who died in 1787, in the 88th year of 
his age and 61st of his ministry. Also of his 
wife, Katherine Turing, who died in 1798, aged 
87 years. And of their children, James, who 
died, aged 20 years. The Rev. John Farquhar, 
minister of Nigg, who died in 1768, aged 36 
years, and whose literary merit is well known. 
Thomas, who died in 1801. Margaret, who 
died in the 16th year of her age. Robert, 
who died in 1778. Katherine and Forbes, 
who died in their youth; and Martha, who 
died in 1787. wife of Patrick Davidson, D.D., 
minister of Rayne. 

By Sir Walter Farquhar, Bart,, M.D., their 
son, and Ann Farquhar, their daughter. 

Let me die the death of the righteous, and 
let my last end be like hisl 

—Numbers, chap. 23 verse 10. 

Rev. Robert Farquhar, previously 
minister of Peterhead, and a descendant 
of Sir Robert Farquhar of Mounie, was 
inducted here on 18th October, 1738. He 
lived to be Father of the Church of Scot- 
land, the parish records bearing that he 
died the 4th and was buried the 9th 

February, 1787, "going the 88th year of 
his useful life." His wife, Katherine 
Turing — whom he married in 1729— was 
the eldest daughter of Rev. Walter 
Turing, minister of Rayne, and she was 
" distinguished by amiability and endear- 
ing qualities joined to the strongest under- 
standing." She died 7th November, 1798. 
Of their family, as enumerated in the 
above inscriptions, Robert died while on 
embassy from Bengal to the King of Berar. 
Walter was probably the most distinguished 
London physician of his time, among his 
patients being George IV. (when Prince 
Regent), Mr Pitt, Lord Melville, etc. In 
March, 1796, he was created a baronet, 
and it is worthy of note that his 
second son — Robert Townsend-Farquhar 
— received a similar honour in 1821, while 
his great - grandson — Horace Brand 
Townsend-Farquhar — was also created a 
baronet in 1892, and was raised to the 
peerage, as Baron Farquhar, in 1898. The 
last-named is the present Master of the 
King's Household. 

Rev. John Shand, M.A., was admitted 
from Kemnay 11th October, 1787. He was 
translated to Kintore in 1799. (See Kem- 
nay and Kintore.) 

The succeeding incumbent has a table- 
stone to his memory — 

Sacred to the memory of Alexander Smith, 
D.D., minister of Chapel of Garioch, who died 
on the 6th of January, 1817, in the 47th year 
of his age, and the 17th of his ministry. This 
monument to departed worth and to high at- 
tainments in science and literature, consigned 
to an early grave, is erected by his sorrowing 
widow. He rests here between two of ma 
children, Rachel and Graeme, who died ir. 

Also to the memory of his wife, Margaret 
Simpson, interred here, who died at Aberdeen 
on the 11th day of June, 1856, in the 81st year 
of her age. Deeply regretted by a large circle 
of relatives and friends. 

Here also are interred James— third son of 
the above— formerly minister of the Parish 



Church, Dumbarton, and latterly of the Free 
Church there. He died at Aberdeen on the 
1st November, 1862, aged 55. Elizabeth, fifth 
daughter of Dr Alexander Smith, died 22nd 
July, 1873, aged 60. William Smith (second 
son), merchant in Aberdeen, died 31st August, 
1878, aged 75. Rachel Smith (fourth daughter) 
died 15th June, 1887, aged 72. 

Rev. Alexander Smith, who was the son 
of Richard Smith, paper manufacturer, 
Petereulter, graduated M.A. at Marischal 
College in 1790, and was ordained 5th 
June, 1800. Dr Scott says that he was 
" celebrated for worth and high attain- 
ments in science and literature." He 
published a "Translation of Michaelis' 
Commentaries on the Laws of Moses," in 
4 vols., etc., and he was honoured with 
the degree of D.D. His wife, Margaret 
Simpson, was a sister of Archibald 
Simpson, architect, Aberdeen. The names 
of two sons are not included in the inscrip- 
tion — Robert, who was a medical prac- 
titioner in Aberdeen ; and Francis, who 
was Accountant in the North of Scot- 
land Bank, Aberdeen. William was the 
author of "The People's Tune Book." 
(See Carnie's " Reporting Reminiscences," 
Vol. I., pp. 23-25.) 

An enclosure has a headstone to the next 
minister — 

In l